Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sawdust Utilized As Biofuel?

A wider of range of plant material could be turned into biofuels thanks to a breakthrough that converts plant molecules called lignin into liquid hydrocarbons.
The reaction reliably and efficiently turns the lignin in waste products such as sawdust into the chemical precursors of ethanol and biodiesel.

"For the first time, we have produced alkanes, the main component of gasoline and diesel, from lignin, and biomethanol becomes available," says Yan.

Impressively, the researchers' practical yields approached those theoretical ideals. They produced monomer yields of 45 wt% and dimer yields of 12 wt% – about twice what has previously been achieved.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Do you think this method will prove to be a beneficial alternative to other biofuels as well as oil?
-Why do you think it is so difficult to start production on an alternative fuel source that will be renewable and cheaper than current fuels?
-Do you think it necessary to be looking for alternative fuels?
-Is a "Mr. Fusion" only reserved for the movies or could it be real someday?

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