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  #1  
Old 11-26-2005, 07:07 PM
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Scientists discovered new way of making biodiesel

saw this on slashdot today. you can go to it and i have posted it below.

"National Geographic is reporting that Japanese scientists have discovered a way to convert vegetable oil into biodiesel with a much less expensive catalyst (between 10 and 50 times cheaper) than what is currently used. From the article: 'Any vegetable oil can become fuel, but not until its fatty acids are converted to chemical compounds known as esters. Currently the acids used to convert the fatty acids are prohibitively expensive. Michikazu Hara, of the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Yokohama, Japan, and his colleagues have used common, inexpensive sugars to form a recyclable solid acid that does the job on the cheap.'"


interesting...
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:29 PM
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I want to read the article that they published in Nature. I am going to try to find it at work on Monday. Anybody happen to have a subscription to Nature? I wonder how much sugar they have to use, and where the sugar is comming from? If I can find it I will post it for those who may be interested.

Andrew
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2005, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biodiesel300TD
I want to read the article that they published in Nature. I am going to try to find it at work on Monday. Anybody happen to have a subscription to Nature? I wonder how much sugar they have to use, and where the sugar is comming from? If I can find it I will post it for those who may be interested.

Andrew
hang on, i have the link to the article in n.g.

here it is.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/11/1114_051114_biodiesel_2.html
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  #4  
Old 11-26-2005, 08:07 PM
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That would be the ellusive 'reusable catalyst' technology. I've heard of at least 3 places claiming they have the technology working, but haven't yet seen a product of it. On university (cornell?) supposedly had one working that they were going to release for public use once they got the patent issues worked out.

I hope that this one is the real deal! We need some better large scale production technology. Better backyard technology would be nice too.

peace,
sam
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  #5  
Old 11-26-2005, 08:35 PM
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It's an ingeneous approach, but...

... it is well beyond the avarage "homebrewer".

Basically, they figured out a way to form a solid substrate for sulphonation (attaching the reactive sulphonite, SO3H, groups) by burning the living crap out of simple sugars (glucose and sucrose) under nitrogen and then boiling it in sulphuric acid (under nitrogen).

The resulting precipitate is a reacitve acid catalyst (they claim sligthly more efficient than striaght H2SO4), but since it remains in a solid phase during the esterification reaction recovery of the catalyst is simplified.

Andrew, I have .pdf from Nature, and the supplementary material (the protocol).
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2005, 09:29 PM
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Well I for one am sick of all those telling us that there is no way "alternative" fuels could possibly make a dent in the oil we use. Moore's law tell us differently (paraphrased as-technology doubles every 18 months). Yes all the corn produced by the usa may be needed with current methods; but add all the other wasted fuels- forest burns, used oils, newer techniques, more efficient engines and a corner could be turned. Biofuels is the worst answer for our energy needs... except for all the other answers.
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2005, 11:09 AM
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Here is a link to another article that goes into a little detail about using sugar for and acid.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005/11/inexpensive_eff.html
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2005, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTUpower
Well I for one am sick of all those telling us that there is no way "alternative" fuels could possibly make a dent in the oil we use. Moore's law tell us differently (paraphrased as-technology doubles every 18 months). Yes all the corn produced by the usa may be needed with current methods; but add all the other wasted fuels- forest burns, used oils, newer techniques, more efficient engines and a corner could be turned. Biofuels is the worst answer for our energy needs... except for all the other answers.
Depends on how you define "alternative". Is diesel an alternative to gasoline? I don't think so if my criteria that it has to cost the same and be as convenient as gas. IOW, without the gelling issues, difficulty of getting a station to carry it compared to gas, etc, etc. You might say it is an alternative because you are looking for different things. Is E85 a good alternative to straight gasoline? I think not because now the mileage and power sucks. You might look at it from a different set of demands so you might say "yes". When you say "alternative", I tend to think of say the Shell station or the BP station across the road and not a case where I have to jump thru 3 fire hoops while standing on my hands. People talk of WVO as an alternative. I don't see it that way because it is not as convenient as regular diesel I get from a pump. So, the answer is "It Depends".
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2005, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aklim
...Is E85 a good alternative to straight gasoline? I think not because now the mileage and power sucks...
That is mostly because we are trying to burn ethanol in engines designed for gasoline. Straight alcohol can make a lot more horsepower if the engines are designed for it. We just need to have it more widely available and more importantly have people willing to use it.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habanero
That is mostly because we are trying to burn ethanol in engines designed for gasoline. Straight alcohol can make a lot more horsepower if the engines are designed for it. We just need to have it more widely available and more importantly have people willing to use it.
I'm looking http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/infosheets/apples.htm and http://www.energyadvocate.com/fw3.htm and I see that gasoline has way more BTU than ethanol. Gasoline has 125000 BTU while Ethanol has 84000 BTU. How would it make more power if you compared apples to apples?
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2005, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aklim
I'm looking http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/infosheets/apples.htm and http://www.energyadvocate.com/fw3.htm and I see that gasoline has way more BTU than ethanol. Gasoline has 125000 BTU while Ethanol has 84000 BTU. How would it make more power if you compared apples to apples?
You burn twice as much....and its got a very high octaine...thats why its so popular in race cars...

But the burnig twice as much seriously hampers any cost effectiveness.
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by boneheaddoctor
You burn twice as much....and its got a very high octaine...thats why its so popular in race cars...

But the burnig twice as much seriously hampers any cost effectiveness.
Then at that rate, alcohol has to be more than half as cheap as gasoline to make it work. At least half for the cost and a bit more because now I have to gas up twice as often, assuming the power levels are made equal without any significant noticable effects.
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2005, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by aklim
Then at that rate, alcohol has to be more than half as cheap as gasoline to make it work. At least half for the cost and a bit more because now I have to gas up twice as often, assuming the power levels are made equal without any significant noticable effects.
exactly....and why vehicles typicaly have to be modified to run alcohol...besides making sure certain fuel system components are Methanol freindly.
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2005, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aklim
I'm looking http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/infosheets/apples.htm and http://www.energyadvocate.com/fw3.htm and I see that gasoline has way more BTU than ethanol. Gasoline has 125000 BTU while Ethanol has 84000 BTU. How would it make more power if you compared apples to apples?
Comparing BTU to BTU isn't necessarily a fair comparison. Combustion efficiency also has to be accounted for. Gasoline-fueled engines have relatively high hydrocarbon emissions. That is because not all the fuel is burned during combustion (also have high CO emissions for similar reasons). Alcohol, being an oxygenated fuel, burns more efficiently and completely. While it is true it doesn't have the same BTU rating, if you are getting more efficient combustion you are getting close to the same power per gallon.
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:54 AM
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Methanol as fuel does not get the same power per gallon....it gets half as much...you have to burn twice as much to get the same power....
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