The world energy market is currently prevailed by fossil fuels. However, growing concern on climate change and depleting resources that are associated with the use of fossil fuels, put the the renewable energy sources at forefront of energy economy.
The production of biofuel from waste is a two-phase process. The biomass is first converted into a biocrude oil using a chemical and thermal process. Crude oil is the same oil that has not yet been refined and still contains impurities. The second stage is a refining, during which hydrogen removes sulfur, nitrogen and oxygen. However, hydrogen is expensive. Moreover, the process isaccompanied by CO2 emissions.
Chemical engineers from University of Calgary, Canada, have invented a way to produce a higher quality, more stable fuel from biowaste, such as sewage.
The team of scientists decided to simplify the conversion process in order to make it cost-effective and environment-friendly.
They used methane instead of hydrogen for the purification process directly at the crude stage. The hydrogen, needed to remove impurities, had to be chemically removed from the methane.
For this purpose, they added innovative catalyst HZSM-5 that reacted with methane to release hydrogen, because the methane hardly reacts with many other compounds.
The researchers are still in search of the best suitable and efficient catalyst.
Initial experiments, held with using the methane and catalyst, indicate that the production of bio-fuel has lower costs than the current method. Moreover, carbon, remaining in the liquid oil, enriches the quality characteristics of final products, having less greenhouse gas emissions.

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