Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wood biomass, source of biofuel and chemical

The project run by the Aalto University is part of the Tekes BioRefineprogram. TEKES is the Finnish Agency for technology and innovation funding. The Biorefine program is developing new competencies based on the strengths of national and the refinement of the biomass-related.

The overall objective of the project is to increase the value of refining of forest residues that can not be used in, for example, the process of the paper pulp. The investigation has been developed by Aadrian van Heiningen and Granström Tom teachers and researchers of Aalto University.

It Butanol is particularly suitable as a fuel for transport because it is not soluble in water and has higher energy content than ethanol. The raw materials most commonly used in the production of butanol have so far been starch and sugar cane.

In contrast to this, the starting point in the study of Aalto University was used only lignocelulosa (also called wood biomass), which does not compete with food production.
Wood biomass It is made up of three main substances: hemicelulosas, cellulose and lignin. Of these three, the cellulose and the hemicellulose can be used as a source of nutrition for microbes in bioprocesses.
During the process that is currently used in the manufacture of cellulose pulp is produced a substance with aspect of black liquor, which can be used as a source of energy. However, this substance is not conducive to microbes.

In the study we present, the pulp manufacturing process altered succeeding - in addition to cellulose- other sugars also remain unharmed. Making so it can be used as raw material to work with microbes.
Wood biomass It is boiled in a mixture of water, alcohol and sulfur dioxide, all parts of the wood - cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin - are separated into clean fractions.

The pulp can be used then to make paper, nanocelulosa or other products. While the hemicellulose is a very efficient raw material for the use of microbes with various applications in the production of chemicals. The big advantage of this new process is that there is no parts of the wood are wasted sugar.

According to the EUrequirements, all fuel must contain 10 percent of biofuels by 2020.
A clear benefit of butanol is that a significantly large percentage - more than 20 percent of butanol - can be added to the fuel to improve it, and without having to make any change in existing combustion engines.

Emissions of nitrogen and carbon from a mixture of fuel with more than 20 per cent butanol are significantly less than fossil fuels.