New Sources of Biofuel

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It is a very good sign that researchers started looking for other sources of biofuel other than the eatable sources like maize, corn and wheat, which is for most people needed for eating.

A new discovery of biofuel from waste wood plants

The US departement of energy led by energy secretary Steven Chu, the research team headed up by the Department’s BioEnergy Science Center has discoveed a new way to converting the waste woody plants to useful biofuel instead of cars’ fuel. The scientists have found that the microbe Clostridium celluloyticum, which is effective in cleaning up polluted sites, and transforming wastewater into bioplastic is also able to break down plant matter and produce isobutanol, so comparing this to the multi-stage process using various microbes to get the usual biofuel, that can be a huge -progress.

Algae is another source for biodiesel

Researchers at the Rochester Institute of  Technology  have reached for a new use for algae which is grown at wastewater treatment plants to produce biodiesel. Algae is used in wastewater treatment to remove ammonia, nitrates and phosphates, and at the same reduce bacteria and toxins from wastewater.

Algae are cheaper and faster to grow than the other sources of biofuels. Algae use photosynthesis to convert sunlight into energy. They need only water, sunlight and carbon dioxide.


A newly discovered catalyst that extract hydrogen from urine

Botte, a researcher of Ohio University reached a new discovery using a an electrolytic approach to produce hydrogen from urine. This will be much cheaper comparing to producing hydrogen from water, because every molecule of water consist of 2 tightly bonded hydrogen atoms while urea the main composite of urine consist of  four hydrogen atoms in each molecule and they are  less tightly bonded.

The catalyst can be used in two directions as a clean up municipal wastewater and as a fuel for the hydrogen-powered cars of the future.

Botte uses electrolysis to break the molecule apart, developing an inexpensive new nickel-based electrode to selectively and efficiently oxidise the urea. To break the molecule down, a voltage of 0.37V needs to be applied across the cell – much less than the 1.23V needed to split water.


1 thought on “New Sources of Biofuel”

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