Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Energy News  


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















BIO FUEL
New Biofuels Processing Method For Mobile Facilities

This diagram shows the layout for a new method for processing agricultural waste and any available biomass into biofuels. Researchers at Purdue University are proposing the creation of mobile processing plants that would rove the Midwest to produce the fuels using the technique, called fast-hydropyrolysis-hydrodeoxygenation. Biomass along with hydrogen will be fed into a high-pressure reactor and subjected to extremely fast heating, rising to as hot as 900 degrees Fahrenheit in less than a second. (Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue University School of Chemical Engineering). For a larger version of this image please go here.
by Staff Writers
West Lafayette IN (SPX) Jul 08, 2010
Chemical engineers at Purdue University have developed a new method to process agricultural waste and other biomass into biofuels, and they are proposing the creation of mobile processing plants that would rove the Midwest to produce the fuels.

"What's important is that you can process all kinds of available biomass - wood chips, switch grass, corn stover, rice husks, wheat straw ...," said Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering.

The approach sidesteps a fundamental economic hurdle in biofuels: Transporting biomass is expensive because of its bulk volume, whereas liquid fuel from biomass is far more economical to transport, he said.

"Material like corn stover and wood chips has low energy density," Agrawal said. "It makes more sense to process biomass into liquid fuel with a mobile platform and then take this fuel to a central refinery for further processing before using it in internal combustion engines."

The new method, called fast-hydropyrolysis-hydrodeoxygenation, works by adding hydrogen into the biomass-processing reactor. The hydrogen for the mobile plants would be derived from natural gas or the biomass itself. However, Agrawal envisions the future use of solar power to produce the hydrogen by splitting water, making the new technology entirely renewable.

The method, which has the shortened moniker of H2Bioil - pronounced H Two Bio Oil - has been studied extensively through modeling, and experiments are under way at Purdue to validate the concept.

Findings are detailed in a research paper appearing online in June in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The paper was written by former chemical engineering doctoral student Navneet R. Singh, Agrawal, chemical engineering professor Fabio H. Ribeiro and W. Nicholas Delgass, the Maxine Spencer Nichols Professor of Chemical Engineering.

The Environmental Science and Technology paper outlines the process, showing how a portion of the biomass is used as a source of hydrogen to convert the remaining biomass to liquid fuel.

"Another major thrust of this research is to provide guidelines on the potential liquid-fuel yield from various self-contained processes and augmented processes, where part of the energy comes from non-biomass sources such as solar energy and fossil fuel such as natural gas," said Singh, who is now a researcher working at Bayer CropScience.

The new method would produce about twice as much biofuel as current technologies when hydrogen is derived from natural gas and 1.5 times the liquid fuel when hydrogen is derived from a portion of the biomass itself.

Biomass along with hydrogen will be fed into a high-pressure reactor and subjected to extremely fast heating, rising to as hot as 500 degrees Celsius, or more than 900 degrees Fahrenheit in less than a second. The hydrogen containing gas is to be produced by "reforming" natural gas, with the hot exhaust directly fed into the biomass reactor.

"The biomass will break down into smaller molecules in the presence of hot hydrogen and suitable catalysts," Agrawal said. "The reaction products will then be subsequently condensed into liquid oil for eventual use as fuel. The uncondensed light gases such as methane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide, are separated and recycled back to the biomass reactor and the reformer."

Both H2CAR and H2Bioil use additional hydrogen to boost the liquid-fuel yield. However, H2Bioil is more economical and mobile than H2CAR, Singh said.

"It requires less hydrogen, making it more economical," he said. "It is also less capital intensive than conventional processes and can be built on a smaller scale, which is one of the prerequisites for the conversion of the low-energy density biomass to liquid fuel. So H2Bioil offers a solution for the interim time period, when crude oil prices might be higher but natural gas and biomass to supply hydrogen to the H2Bioil process might be economically competitive."

The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and is affiliated with the Energy Center at Purdue's Discovery Park.



Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Purdue University
Bio Fuel Technology and Application News



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


BIO FUEL
Energy Crops Growing On Seawater
Thousand Oaks CA (SPX) Jul 07, 2010
Energy crop company Ceres, Inc. has announced that it has developed a plant trait that could bring new life to millions of acres of abandoned or marginal cropland damaged by salts. Results in several crops, including switchgrass, have shown levels of salt tolerance not seen before. Ceres reported that its researchers tested the effects of very high salt concentrations and also seawater fro ... read more







BIO FUEL
Understanding Solar PV Cost And Financing Estimators

Abound Solar Receieves Conditional Commitment For Loan Guarantee By US DoE

Third In Series Of Italian Solar Power Plants Now Operational

Yingli Green Energy Announces Initial Production Of 400 Mw Capacity Expansions

BIO FUEL
BIO FUEL
Study Shows Stability And Utility Of Floating Wind Turbines

Leading French Wind Farm Developer Says Yes To Triton

Floating ocean wind turbines proposed

China to dominate wind power

BIO FUEL
Europe should freeze deep water drilling: top official

US demands BP outline next steps to cap oil slick

Chilean oil finds a boost to economy

Nigeria faces specter of new oil violence

BIO FUEL
Can Burning Ice Solve Our Energy Problems?

Renewable Capacity Soars Across EU

Switching Off Your Lights Has A Bigger Impact Than You Might Think

Siemens unveils growth plans in Chinese power market

BIO FUEL
Peugeot Citroen posts record sales, looks to China, India

Kongsberg signs deal with Renault

EU clears Volvo takeover by China's Geely

GM auto sales in China slow in June

BIO FUEL
Agricultural Bank of China expected to announce record IPO

Climate change affects meadows' ecosystems

China's AgBank raises 10 billion dollars in Shanghai IPO

AgBank prices Hong Kong IPO lower than expected

BIO FUEL
Facebook deal means virtual 'credits' can be bought in shops

Wake up, check Facebook

Apple to issue patch for iPhone 4 antenna woes

Apple hit with lawsuit over iPhone 4 antenna woes


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement