Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists' breakthrough in production of biofuels

Date:
January 7, 2010
Source:
University of Sheffield
Summary:
Scientists have developed an innovative device which will make the production of alternative biofuels more energy efficient.

A team of scientists from the University of Sheffield have developed an innovative device which will make the production of alternative biofuels more energy efficient.

The research team has adapted a unique bioreactor for use in the production of alternative renewable fuels, to replace fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel. The manufacture of biofuels currently requires vast amounts of power and when the process uses too much energy, it is uneconomic. This new method consumes much less energy and could prove to be vital to the economic, green production of alternative fuels.

The team have devised an air-lift loop bioreactor which creates microbubbles using 18% less energy consumption. Microbubbles are miniature gas bubbles of less than 50 microns diameter in water. They are able to transfer materials in a bioreactor much more rapidly than larger bubbles produced by conventional bubble generation techniques and they consume much less energy. The team's unique adaption of the bioreactor and creation of microbubbles has the potential to revolutionise the energy-efficient production of biofuels.

In recognition of this breakthrough, the team have been awarded the Moulton Medal from the Institution of Chemical Engineers, which recognises the best paper published in the Institution's journal during the year. The team also submitted their project as a poster to the 6th Annual bioProcessUK conference, where it picked up the Best Poster Award.

The approach is currently being tested with researchers from Suprafilt in Rochdale on industrial stack gases. The team are also currently testing the application of the device with local water company Yorkshire Water. They are using the components of the bioreactor that produce microbubbles to give a better performance in the treatment of wastewater. They are predicting to reduce the current electricity costs for this process by a third.

Professor Will Zimmerman, from the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: "I am delighted that our team's work in energy efficient microbubble generation is being recognized by the Institution of Chemical Engineers. The potential for large energy savings with our microbubble generation approach is huge. I hope the award draws more industry attention to our work, particularly in commodity chemicals production for gas dissolution and stripping, where energy savings could enhance profitability. There are many routes to becoming green, and reducing energy consumption with the same or better performance must be the most painless."

Professor Martin Tillotson, from Yorkshire Water, added: "Many of our processes use forced air in order to treat water and wastewater streams and, given the huge volumes, it is very costly in electricity and carbon terms. This technology offers the potential to produce a step-change in energy performance..."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Sheffield. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Sheffield. "Scientists' breakthrough in production of biofuels." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100107114428.htm>.
University of Sheffield. (2010, January 7). Scientists' breakthrough in production of biofuels. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100107114428.htm
University of Sheffield. "Scientists' breakthrough in production of biofuels." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100107114428.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) 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