Friday, March 23, 2007

New biodiesel production method created


New biodiesel production method created

NASHVILLE, March 21 (UPI) -- A new material developed at the U.S.
Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory might replace a
costly process in biodiesel production.

Scientists at the laboratory's Nanoscience Center say the technology
might replace the biodiesel manufacturing process that consumes
chemicals, water and energy and also reduces the yield of the final product.

During production, catalysts must be applied to transform biodiesel from
a thick and sticky substance into a fluid that can easily be pumped into
vehicles. Following that process, the corrosive catalysts must be
neutralized and washed from the fuel.

ORNL researchers Sheng Dai and Chengdu Liang created a material of solid
acid nanocatalysts that can be fixed inside a reusable column or filter
through which the biodiesel can flow to remove the catalyst materials.

The scientists said the nanomaterial shows promise for other
applications as well, such as fuel cells, batteries and other energy
storage and conversion technologies.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.


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