• 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.

  • 25Apr
    Categories: Bio Fuels Comments: 0

    When you look at a bigger production scale, a recent study points out, liquid fuels like diesel derived from crop residue may actually be competitive against the petroleum based fuels at the current levels of prices.

    Scientists from the Stevens Institute of Technology conducted a research and their preliminary analysis looked into a Biorefinery Collective of biomass-to-liquid fuels using centralized ATR or autothermal reforming and fast pyrolysis followed by synthesis using Fischer-TRopsch process. Different sizes of plants ranging from 35,000; 10,000; and 2,000 dry tonnes of biomass a day with 8 percent return, the experts found out that the sales price can go for $2.06, $2.40, and $3.30 a gallon, respectively, without taxes.

    The process will involve collection of surplus biomass like crop residue and then pyrolizing this biomass into PO or pyrolysis oil, char, and NCG or noncondensable gas. The next step will be to move the PO into a processing facility so that the PO can be converted to synthesis gas via autothermal reforming and then FT synthesis to make it into a diesel fuel. These steps were tagged by the proponents as the Biorefinery Collective.

    The higher density of the pyrolisis oil compared to the biomass my lower the transport cost to the ATR plant and pipeline transport can also be considered. The pyrolyzer collective will entail a number of farms in a certain location where each of the farm will send the residues of their crop to a pyrolizer in the area to convert it to pyrolysis oil.

    The study sees the cost of the biomass to be the number one factor in pricing as the crude oil prices is to the current market pricing today. And they found out that effective methods of collection and delivery of the biomass will lead to lower cost.