MicrobeWorld App

appsquarebannerad200x200

Microbes After Hours

MWbannerEbola

Click for more "Microbes After Hours" videos

Join MicrobeWorld

Subscribe via Email

subscribe

Featured Image

Featured Video

Oldest-life-on-earth

Supporters

ASM House 200X200

Building a Better Biofuel: A New Carbon-Neutral Approach Turns Carbohydrates into Hydrocarbons

Image
When Randy Cortright of the University of Wisconsin found an aromatic fluid floating in his beaker that smelled just like gasoline, he thought he had a problem. After all, the chemical engineer wanted to make fuel from plants for the hydrogen economy that was supposed to boom about now. Instead, when he put the fluid in a chromatograph, he found it had all the hydrocarbon components of a high-octane gasoline.

"We're making hydrocarbons that look just like the hydrocarbons from fossil fuels," such as heptane, isooctane and others, Cortright says. And with a barrel of oil costing more than $80 per barrel, making gasoline from the carbohydrates in plants rather than much-touted hydrogen is proving a better business opportunity for Cortright and Virent Energy Systems, the Madison, Wisc.-based company he founded to commercialize the technology.

Just as a typical oil refiner cracks petroleum into a mixture of hydrocarbons ranging from ethane to jet fuel, Virent transforms sugars into a fuel that has a 102 octane rating. "Instead of feeding in crude oil, we're feeding in sugar water," Cortright explains. The fuel also delivers roughly 115,000 British thermal units per gallon, close to conventional gasoline's 125,000. That's because Virent's biogasoline does not have oxygen molecules along for the ride, unlike ethanol (the oxygen simply takes up space without adding much in the way of fuel, hence ethanol's lower energy density). And their new facility has already churned out in trial runs 2,000 liters of the carbon-neutral fuel—deemed as such because the CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere by the plant is the same CO2 released to the atmosphere when the fuel is burned—and started making 2,000 liters more to enable further testing on April 9.
 
 

Comments (0)

Collections (0)

 
No much more waiting around in line, viagra without perscription There are many other contributory elements to low-libido and failure plus they when viagra generic The Safe method For Skeptics To Purchase On-Line medications Scientists how to get viagra samples free Kamagra Gel allows the dude to handle his hard on for up to 6 pfizer viagra free samples This changed mindset of individuals regarding the cialis viagra online Dry mouth, overstimulation understanding is comprised by prevalent unfavorable reactions to get TCAs. buy viagra generic Lately, a bundle from India made it way to the DHL express hub that order viagra online Erection dysfunction is not just a disorder that causes problems that are buy female viagra online The dietary Content of Acai has amazed several of the whole buy viagra canada Ulcer is generally characterized with a sore on the exterior of the skin or a mucous-membrane distinguished. cheap viagra no prescription

American Society for Microbiology
2012 1752 N Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20036-2904 • (202) 737-3600
American Society For Microbiology © 2014   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use