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.

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 July 30, 2014 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) 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:
from the past week

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