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Potential Biodiesel Breakthrough

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posted on Apr, 20 2006 @ 05:06 AM
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A Portland, Oregon prof. has just developed a new and innovative way to refine biomass into biodiesel, all with the help of a credit card sized device that pumps in Alcohol and Vegatable Oil through microchannels which in turn converts it into fuel nearly instantaniously. By comparison, it takes more then a day to produce biodiesel with current technology.

www.wired.com...



Conventional production involves dissolving a catalyst, such as sodium hydroxide, in alcohol, then stirring it into vegetable oil in large vats for about two hours. The mixture then has to sit for 12 to 24 hours while a slow chemical reaction forms biodiesel along with glycerin, a byproduct.

The glycerin is separated and can be used to make other products, such as soaps, but it still contains the chemical catalyst, which must be neutralized and removed using hydrochloric acid, a long and costly process.

The microreactor under development by the university and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute eliminates the mixing, the standing time and maybe even the need for a catalyst.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This potential breakthrough can best be summed up by this quote...



"If we're successful with this, nobody will ever make biodiesel any other way," Jovanovic said.


If this turns out to be feasible, distributed fuel production may be only a few years away. Add this technology with Urban Skyscraper Hydroponic technology and we can put a major dent in fuel prices locally, city by city, without resorting to building more big, expensive, and dirty refineries to supposedly help lower the cost of fuel.

Thoughts, Opinions, Critisms?

[edit on 20-4-2006 by sardion2000]




posted on Apr, 20 2006 @ 06:52 AM
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Back when I was a senior in high school I actually did a science fair project at the WPI science fair on biodiesel, which led me to the MIT science fair. I think the thing that amazed me most about the project was how cheap biodiesel is, and how you lose little to no horsepower compared to regular diesel. We had a truck that had been running on biodiesel for its entire existence (it was usually a 50/50 mix of biodiesel and diesel, if you don't know about biodiesel, it doesn't fair well in cold weather), and the damn thing had 500,000 miles on the original engine.

It's really a shame that the only thing holding back the technology is politics.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 11:27 AM
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This is odd, only one reply with Oil at all time highs. You would think something like this would get more attention with the current climate the way it is.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 11:37 AM
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I researched a bit about using old fryer grease to make biofuel, but this discovery would make a cheap and simple process even simpler.

We need to let go of the oil wells and take care of ourselves for once.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 11:37 AM
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That's good that were getting these breakthroughs in renewable fuels and renewable energy.

In a few years we'll be in a good position to really cut back on non-renewable sources of energy.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 11:45 AM
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The question is though, is there enough french fries being made that can supply every diesel engine on the road?
But still, it's good to cut down on diesel use, it could maybe even be mixed with diesel.
But does it cut down CO2 emissions? Or just particulates and diesel bad stuff?



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by Toadmund
The question is though, is there enough french fries being made that can supply every diesel engine on the road?
But still, it's good to cut down on diesel use, it could maybe even be mixed with diesel.
But does it cut down CO2 emissions? Or just particulates and diesel bad stuff?


Well since we're not adding any Carbon into the cycle it doesn't really matter as much. With Oil, we are releasing long sequestered Carbon into the atmosphere disrupting the Carbon Cycle.

As for the Particulates, I'm not so sure. I will have to do additional research on this.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 12:05 PM
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Well since we're not adding any Carbon into the cycle it doesn't really matter as much. With Oil, we are releasing long sequestered Carbon into the atmosphere disrupting the Carbon Cycle.

Yeah, your right there, but is there enough carbon fuel that is not stored away underground that can sustain our way of life?
We are now taking out of earths vaults, billions of years of built up carbon and realeasing it.
So we'd have to sustain perhaps millions of years worth of carbon to supply our current needs, is there enough space to grow WAY more canola?

Not enough change in the pocket, got to make a withdrawl from earths bank account.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 12:12 PM
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Check this link out. There is more then enough real-estate to put a large dent in Gas consumption.

www.wired.com...

Also one other thing to remember is, that we are probably not going to see a complete replacement for Oil. It's gonna have to be cobbled up, and we are gonna have to start thinking locally. Ontario will have different fuels available then say Arizona, because the climates are completely different.

That's why Oil based fuels are so popular, it's basically the ultimate transportation fuel and we will never be able to replace it. We are going to enter an era where we are just gonna have to "make do" with what we got. I know it's not what people like to hear, but if we're gonna have energy and trasportation security, we gotta start thinking in new ways, distrubuted energy production is the future IMHO.

[edit on 22-4-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 02:21 PM
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Yes I want fries with that... and can I get the oil to go?

This sounds awesome! Perhaps the fuel revolution isnt in hydrogen and battery power... perhaps its right here!
This would make vegetable farming a VERY lucrative buisness! Perhaps its time to start re-thinking our investments.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 05:09 PM
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Originally posted by johnsky
Yes I want fries with that... and can I get the oil to go?

This sounds awesome! Perhaps the fuel revolution isnt in hydrogen and battery power... perhaps its right here!
This would make vegetable farming a VERY lucrative buisness! Perhaps its time to start re-thinking our investments.


hydrogen and battery power will never compare to hydrocarbon fuel like biodiesel or regular diesel. the energy density is just to great compared to the other two.

hydrocarbon fuel is an ideal fuel especially diesel. portable, high energy density, safe to store.

diesel's even a better and safer fuel than gasoline as it has a much higher flash point.



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by bigx01

Originally posted by johnsky
Yes I want fries with that... and can I get the oil to go?

This sounds awesome! Perhaps the fuel revolution isnt in hydrogen and battery power... perhaps its right here!
This would make vegetable farming a VERY lucrative buisness! Perhaps its time to start re-thinking our investments.


hydrogen and battery power will never compare to hydrocarbon fuel like biodiesel or regular diesel. the energy density is just to great compared to the other two.

hydrocarbon fuel is an ideal fuel especially diesel. portable, high energy density, safe to store.

diesel's even a better and safer fuel than gasoline as it has a much higher flash point.


Well, how about a synthetic H2 based fuel like Aquafuel?

jlnlabs.imars.com...

It's been proven to be almost as efficient and powerful as gasoline, yet it's much much cleaner burning. It's more like propane then hydrogen gas so it's quite easy to store.



posted on Apr, 23 2006 @ 09:57 PM
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Yes I've heard of this liquid version of hydrogen fuel... sorry thats a sarcastic understatement... I've actually researched into it quite heavily.

When I referr to H2 fuel I dont even think of the gaseous fuel any more... sorry for any confusion.

But Im still looking forward to seeing the H2 "Liquid" fuel come out. Its going to be alot of fun to play with.

Either way, so long as we get a change, I'm happy.



posted on Apr, 24 2006 @ 10:06 AM
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Originally posted by T_Jesus
I think the thing that amazed me most about the project was how cheap biodiesel is,

Biodiesel is not cheap. It is more expensive than gasoline. The price at the pump for things like 'biowillie' are around the same as the price for gasoline, because the government pays money to offset the cost.

Making biodisel yourself can be cheap, if you have a source of waste fats. Right now, thats apparently pretty easy to get, but thats probably because not many people are making biodisel at home.

Regardless, this new invention, if they can get it to market for a reasonable price, might benefit the biodisel DIY'ers, maybe make it into a more widespread hobby.


Yes I want fries with that... and can I get the oil to go?

Hmmm.
Thats not as crazy as it sounds. A fast food place could have one of the regular biodisel processing units, or even this new addition. They can just give away the fuel, as an incentive. People can drive up, get their food, get some fuel for free, and carry along.

Hmm, sounds like a good business model.

But you need to have a disiel engine to use biodisel right?

[edit on 24-4-2006 by Nygdan]



posted on Apr, 24 2006 @ 12:31 PM
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The original source does not know what they are talking about. There are other alternatives to batch processing:

www.energea.at...

Here's the largest plant in Europe using this tech:

www.biofuelscorp.com...

Cheers

JS



posted on Apr, 24 2006 @ 02:02 PM
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Interesting. It would be awesome if this could kick biodiesel a few steps forward.

I wonder how the world will look in 100 years, when the middle-east's main money supply is no longer usable...



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