• 12Dec

    research-on-gas-from-grasTurn straw into gold. Such stuff can only be see in fairy tales. Today, a group of scientist is trying to turn straw into consumable energy.

    The experts make use of a nanocatalyst to perform this modern-day magic. The particle that stirs up the process has some particles of gold on the surface of the titatium-oxide. The combination of these materials are quite strong to break bonds between molecules of oxygen and between molecules of acetic acid. A few technical terms after and you will get ethanol, an important precursor to produce viable fuel.

    Because of its ability to break bonds between molecules, the nanocatalyst is being looked at as one of the best candidates to be used in industrial applications for the production of clean energy. One of the proponents explained that the nanoparticles have very high activity during various reactions.

    In order to look into the possibilities, the team from the University of Virginia combines lab experiments with computer simulations. Through their work, they saw a reaction site on the gold-titanium complex that is pretty much like catalysis.

    The earlier part of the study made the scientist think that it was only the gold that was active during the reactions they saw. Recently though they realized that the oxides also play a very important role in the process. They create the site where the most important reactions can take place.

    Experts say that oil will be more expensive in the future and the only way out for us will be to do biomass conversion. Scientists need to find efficient ways to make biofuels affordable and having better catalysts will make the process a lot easier.

    The simulations on computers for the gold-titanium oxide catalyst is just a start of something big. If it ever leads to producing gases from the grasses, this will lead to more sustainable fuels that are available to the masses.

  • 27Jan

    BiodieselScientists from the Technische Universitat Munchen headed by Dr. Johannes Lercher introduce a new catalytic process which paves for the effective conversion of microalgae oils to renewable diesel. Plant oils are viable raw materials for making biofuels. Microalgae in particular is an excellent feedstock resource as it has about 60 wt percent of high tryglycerides , grows up to two hundred times faster than other oil crops like rapeseed or soybean, and does not pose a food versus oil production conflict.

    The researchers noted that at the moment there are basically three ways to refine oil from microalgae:

    • make use of hydrotreating catalysts like CoMo and sulfided NiMo but these may contaminate the product;
    • transesterification of alcohol and triglycerides into glycerol and FAAEs just like how it is done for the 1st gen biodiesel but this results to problem with flow property in colder weather giving it a limited application;
    • make use of base metal and noble catalysts for decarbonylation and decarboxylation of carboxylic acid into alkanes

    The experts reports that crude oil from microalgae can be converted to a high grade biofuel fit for transportation application by using Ni as scalable catalyst supported with zeolite Hbeta.

    The microalgae used for the study consist of comprised unsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, and other fatty acids. The microalgae hydrotreated the material using the NI/HBeta catalyst and they were able to obtain good amount of octadecane, propane, and methane.

    The new approach in this study gives way to possibilities to produce high grade transportation fuels using microalgae as raw material and doing it in large scale production.

  • 29Jul

    Using the conventional process of transforming gas to liquids and chemical products, the natural gas is first changed into what they call “syngas” or synthetic gas. The so-called syngas is a gas mixture that contains hydrogen and different amounts of carbon monoxide. The syngas is then converted into fuel, methanol, or other liquid chemical products. This conventional syngas process is tedious, not to mention expensive and requires a high level of maintenance.

    Gas Technologies LLC, an alternative energy company, has found a way to convert natural gas to fuel without going through the syngas process. It costs way lower than the conventional syngas process. Gas Technologies LLC just recently decided to improve its GasTechno plants and offer mini gas-to-liquid packages.

    The GasTechno process is able to convert natural gas to fuel through a “direct homogenous partial oxidation” procedure. It also comes with the so-called “energy-neutral cycle” that continuously works with unconverted materials until they reach the desired conversion.

    GasTechno’s core process plus the auxiliary compressor system can effectively deliver 30,000 standard cubic feet of gas daily (scfd). When the company decides to go commercial, they can produce almost 30 million cubic feet of gas per day. This figure is based on a study made by an independent party that GasTechno mentioned.

    As a first step towards clients who wish to avail of the GasTechno process, the company recently announced their Basic Engineering Package (BES) that amounts to $250,000, which is cheaper than the conventional method plus recommendations from the company itself.

  • 03Feb

    Audi A1The owners of an Audi are a proud lot and they love their car for its worth. However, there are occasions when they feel let down and they feel sad. During these moments they check out if there is news that can help them to recover from their woes and when they do find such news, they glee with happiness as only the owners of Audis can. Of late many car manufacturers have started changing the design of their cars in order to accommodate the use of alternative fuels. Most users of Audi cars too are waiting with baited breath and want to know when will Audi too come out with a car that can run on alterative car fuel. These owners too want to contribute their share in saving the environment by using alternative fuels.

    Owners of Audis will be pleased to know that this world-renowned car manufacturer has lots of plans up its sleeves to bring out eco friendly cars, though it might take a few years before they make their presence felt. In about 10 years time Audi shall be producing cars that run on electricity. While the rest of the world is finding out ways and producing cars that will have lower CO2 emissions, Audi will do away with emissions all together. The electric cars that Audi shall be producing in about a decade will be sans exhaust emissions. The owners of Audi cars can glee in delight armed with the knowledge that their favorite will again show the way to the world.

    For recent eco-friendly audi news, check here!

  • 09Jan

    Hyundai is going all out to achieve the status as the most fuel efficient car maker in the world. The Blue Drive which spearheads their environmental campaign will be further boosted by the production of electric hybrid vehicles.

    The Korean auto manufacturers Hyundai and Kia are among the front runners of the development of HEV technology. These two companies have released almost 3000 units of hybrid electronic vehicles under the brand of Accent and Elantra prototypes to the Korean government as part of their demonstration that kicked off in 2004.

    Come July 2009, a lithium-polymer battery and liquefied petroleum gas combo will power the Hyundai Elantra LPI. This vehicle is set to be initially released in Korea.

    Hyundai showcased the Santa Fe Blue in the Paris Motor Show. Read more »

  • 05Dec

    Everyone wants to possess a car that will run on alternative fuels. They know that the time is not far off when there will be no natural fuel left in the world. Apart from this there is the fact that the natural fuels emit lots of CO2 emissions and they pollute and damage the environment of the world apart from creating greenhouse problems. Keeping this in mind, most car owners are looking for models of their favorite cars that will run on alternative fuels.

    One can say without hesitation that the owners of the Swedish car, SAAB, are the best off. As it is this car manufacturer is famous all over the world for the safety features of their car and also for the fact that they are credited with introducing certain innovative features that are now being adopted by car manufacturers all over the world. It is hence natural that SAAB cars would also lead the way when it comes to manufacturing cars that run on alternative fuels.

    Read more »

  • 18Nov

    Cadillac is known for its classic, elegant and luxurious vehicles. The brand is equated with wealth and the finer things in life. So when we hear about an eco-friendly vehicle from Cadillac, people stand up and take notice. Maybe the idea of alternative fueled cars is not a far-fetched dream but rather modern day reality.

    Although only in the concept stages and not yet available for general sale, Cadillac showed the new Provoq earlier this year at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. Born from General Motors’ vision to replace gasoline as mainstream fuel, the Provoq is a hydrogen fuel cell crossover. It uses fuel cell technology coupled with a lithium-ion battery. The result is a vehicle driven electrically without the detrimental emissions of gas. It is called hydrogen fuel cell because the only emission is vapor or water.

    Read more »

  • 02Nov

    Most car owners are looking forward to driving cars that are both efficient and also run on alternative fuels. This is the only way out since the natural oil resources of the world shall dry up in a few decades. On top is the feeling of contributing to keep the environment free from dangerous CO² emissions.

    The owners of Volkswagens too are seeking if there are any alternatives available with Volkswagen that is both eco compliant and fuel-efficient. Such people should check out the Volkswagen Polo as it zips around. This car is a marvel of auto engineering and demonstrates what gasoline powered efficiency means. Its turbo diesel, direct injected, 3 cylinder 1.4L engine allows it to give a “staggering” 79 horsepower. And this is not enough.

    Read more »

  • 16Oct

    I’ve been a Mazda-fan ever since I bought my first car (a good old Mazda mx-3), and it’s so good to see them coming up with sporty, yet environmentally-friendly cars like this Hydrogen-powered Mazda RX-8s.

    These cars are 100% street-legal, and Mazda claims they’re the first ever street-legal Hydrogen cars sold in the world (they’re driving around in Japan, but not that much as they’re bought by companies as a PR-stunt, what a surprise)…

    Fingers crossed we’ll soon se more hydrogen/gasoline hybrid sports cars in the near future…

    mazda rx-8s Hydrogen

  • 03Oct

    There’s quite a few morality issues with using food-sources for bio-ethanol-making, so scientists all over the world are looking for solutions to this ethical question…

    Using wood chips to create ethanol is a great way, as long as we’re using the kind of wood Scandinavia is famous for — the kind that doesn’t kill worldwide photosynthesis…

    In an article titled Moving Away from Food Source Ethanol, Alternative Fuels Blog talks about this, and I think it’s an excellent resource…