Big Development In Renewable Chemical Market: New Process Developed Can Convert Renewable Ethanol Into Diesel Or Jet Fuel

Posted On September 17, 2021     

Biomass is a type of renewable energy that comes at an extremely high cost, making it a challenging source for usage. Moreover, the production of biomass at a large scale leads to an increased need for smaller, distributed processing plants. Thus, there is a requirement for a renewable source that could be easily mass-produced to meet the current world requirements.
 
Recently, a research group has patented a process that might help solve current problems related to the production of renewable sources. They have created a technique through which they can covert alcohol acquired through renewable or industrial waste gases into diesel or jet fuel. Interestingly, the entire approach can also be scaled up. The new process would be a huge contribution towards Renewable Chemical Market as well as it could potentially become an efficient route for conversion of waste-derived or renewable ethanol to useful chemicals. Not only this, but the new technology also has the ability to reduce carbon emissions as it makes use of recycled and carbon feedstocks.
 
The team stated that their idea is to power the energy-efficient fuel production units with the help of two key technologies. They added that chemical conversion happens with a single step reducing the complexities involved with the multi-step process as prevailing at present. Further, they revealed that the new PNNL-patented catalyst has the capability to covert biofuel straight into a versatile “platform” chemical referred to as n-butene.
 
They have also inculcated a microchannel reactor design that helps in reducing costs while simultaneously delivering a modular processing system that is scalable. The researchers stated that their microchannel technology would facilitate the building of commercial-scale bioreactors near agricultural centers where most biomass is located. Furthermore, the modular design of the system reduces the amount of risk and time involved in deploying a reactor. The team added that with time modules can be added in consonance with the demand and referred to this process as scale up by numbering up.
 
The researchers, through their experiments, also made important discoveries. They noted that when ethanol is passed over a solid silver-zirconia-based catalyst maintained on silica, it enables the crucial chemical reaction of making n-butene or butadiene (with some modifications to the reaction conditions) by converting ethanol.
                           
The study demonstrates an innovative method that can lead to reduced complexities and improved efficiency while also decreasing the capital cost. An approach is a realistic option that could be a feasible option for distributed energy production as it can be scaled over time.

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