Synthesis of Butanol: Towards a Better Biofuel

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Researchers have developed a catalyst to convert ethanol into butanol with high selectivity, potentially allowing butanol to replace ethanol as a biofuel.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>[…] Because manufacturers can prepare ethanol from renewable sources, researchers consider the biofuel a good alternative to standard fossil fuels such as gasoline. Indeed, its production and use have increased remarkably in the last ten years; manufacturers now commonly add ethanol to gasoline fuels.

Despite this increased use, however, ethanol has several disadvantages. It has a lower calorific value than standard gasoline (19.6 vs. 32 MJ/liter); moreover, it is corrosive. For this reason, the maximum amount which can be added to standard gasoline is about 10 %; cars cannot use fuels with higher ethanol amounts without engine modifications.

Butanol: a Better Option

1-Butanol (CH3-CH2-CH2-CH2-OH), an alcohol with a longer chain, could be a better alternative to ethanol. Indeed, it has a higher calorific value (29.2 MJ/liter) and it is much less corrosive; because of this, manufacturers can add it to gasoline in higher proportions without engine modifications, and theoretically it could completely replace the gasoline. Moreover, its octane number is very similar to that of gasoline – 96 vs 91-99.

Despite these characteristics, however, we’re not yet using butanol in cars due to the difficulties in producing the alternative biofuel. […]<

See on www.decodedscience.com

Research and Energy Efficiency | The Energy Collective

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Every time energy policy is being discussed, you’ll usually find a call for more R&D spending at the top of the list of ways to solve problems. While I agree that research is great, it’s obviously not enough and, if anything, only the first step.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The result of this comparison doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who is remotely interested in energy issues. There is a massive energy efficiency gap between the US and other world economies. While this is no surprise to many, it should be a lesson for all those who tell the public that meaningful action requires yet more R&D spending. The 200 million citizens of Japan and Germany are proof that even the technology and the concepts of the past can make a huge difference.<

See on theenergycollective.com

Energy scavenging by U.S. Army Research Laboratory using SmartBED – Energy Harvesting Journal

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Energy Scavenging is just one way ARL experts are getting more from existing resources, said Dr. Edward Shaffer, who is the Energy and Power Division Chief at the lab. Energy harvesting is critical to realize “net zero” energy use, a key element of the…

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

Department of Defense operational energy is an emerging area being shaped. It is what is required to train, move, and sustain forces, weapons, and equipment for military operations. It accounted for 75 percent of all energy used by DOD in 2009, according to the Energy website for DOD. It was in May 2011, when the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy, Plans and Programs defined an operational energy strategy, and then published Operational Energy for the warfighter, a guide that would transform the way the DOD consumes energy in military operations.

Shaffer has a wide view of the energy needs across Army, DOD and interagency forums that explore complimentary ways of addressing energy and power technology gaps and reduce duplicated efforts, including the DOD Energy and Power Community of Interest and the Interagency Advanced Power Group that includes agencies like the Department of Energy and NASA. These communities are comprised of scientists, engineers, subject matter experts, technologists and program managers with a common interest in promoting innovative energy and power solutions for the nation.

At ARL, the future is a seamless energy architecture that begins with concepts like SmartBED, Long-lived Power and Fuel-Reforming for better energy convergence.

See on www.energyharvestingjournal.com