Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Green Diesel: New Process Makes Liquid Transportation Fuel From Plants

Date:
June 6, 2005
Source:
University Of Wisconsin / College Of Engineering
Summary:
University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering researchers have discovered a new way to make a diesel-like liquid fuel from carbohydrates commonly found in plants.

Chemical and Biological Engineering graduate student George Huber.
Credit: Image courtesy of University Of Wisconsin / College Of Engineering

University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering researchers have discovered a new way to make a diesel-like liquid fuel from carbohydrates commonly found in plants.

Related Articles


Reporting in the June 3 issue of the journal Science, Chemical and Biological Engineering graduate students George Huber, Juben Chheda, Chris Barrett and Steenbock Professor James Dumesic detail a four-phase catalytic reactor in which corn and other biomass-derived carbohydrates can be converted to sulfur-free liquid alkanes resulting in an ideal additive for diesel transportation fuel.

"It's a very efficient process," says Huber. "The fuel produced contains 90 percent of the energy found in the carbohydrate and hydrogen feed. If you look at a carbohydrate source such as corn, our new process has the potential to creates twice the energy as is created in using corn to make ethanol."

About 67 percent of the energy required to make ethanol is consumed in fermenting and distilling corn. As a result, ethanol production creates 1.1 units of energy for every unit of energy consumed. In the UW-Madison process, the desired alkanes spontaneously separate from water. No additional heating or distillation is required. The result is the creation of 2.2 units of energy for every unit of energy consumed in energy production.

"The fuel we're making stores a considerable amount of hydrogen," says Dumesic. "Each molecule of hydrogen is used to convert each carbon atom in the carbohydrate reactant to an alkane. It's a very high yield. We don't lose a lot of carbon. The carbon acts as an effective energy carrier for transportation vehicles. It's not unlike the way our own bodies use carbohydrates to store energy."

About 75 percent of the dry weight of herbaceous and woody biomass is composed of carbohydrates. Because the UW-Madison process works with a range of carbohydrates, a wide range of plants, and more parts of the plant, can be consumed to make fuel.

"The current delivered cost of biomass is comparable or even cheaper than petroleum-based feedstock on an energy basis," Huber says. "This is one step in figuring out how to efficiently use our biomass resources."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Wisconsin / College Of Engineering. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Wisconsin / College Of Engineering. "Green Diesel: New Process Makes Liquid Transportation Fuel From Plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050603074123.htm>.
University Of Wisconsin / College Of Engineering. (2005, June 6). Green Diesel: New Process Makes Liquid Transportation Fuel From Plants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050603074123.htm
University Of Wisconsin / College Of Engineering. "Green Diesel: New Process Makes Liquid Transportation Fuel From Plants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050603074123.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) An hour before an apparent gas explosion sent flames soaring and debris flying at a Manhattan apartment building, injuring 19 people, utility company inspectors decided the work being done there was faulty. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Witnesses recount the sites and sounds of a massive explosion and subsequent building collapse in the heart of Manhattan&apos;s trendy East Village on Thursday. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins