• 3 minutes Oil Price Could Fall To $30 If Global Deal Not Extended
  • 8 minutes Why Is America (Texas) Burning Millions of Dollars Per Day Of Natural Gas?
  • 11 minutes Is $60/Bbl WTI still considered a break even for Shale Oil
  • 15 minutes CNN:America's oil boom will break more records this year. OPEC is stuck in retreat
  • 18 mins The Pope: "Climate change ... doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain."
  • 7 hours Hormuz and surrounding waters: Energy Threats to the World: Oil, LNG, shipping markets digest new risks after Strait of Hormuz attack
  • 11 hours As Iran Nuclear Deal Flounders, France Turns To Saudi For Oil
  • 7 hours The Magic and Wonders of US Shale Supply: Keeping energy price shock minimised: US oil supply keeping lid on prices despite global risks: IEA chief
  • 16 hours Middle East on brink: Oil tankers attacked off Oman
  • 7 hours Russia removes special military forces from Venezuela . . . . Maduro gone by September ? . . . Oil starts to flow ? Think so . .
  • 10 hours Never Knew Gasoline Prices were this important!
  • 9 hours (Un)expectedly: UK Court Sets Assange U.S. Extradition Hearing For February 2020
  • 1 day Emmissions up, renewables nowhere
  • 1 day Magic of Shale: EXPORTS!! Crude Exporters Navigate Gulf Coast Terminal Constraints
  • 4 hours We Are Better Than This
  • 1 day Only one country is contemplating destroying its own resource sector: Canada
  • 8 hours The Latest: Iranian FM Says US Cannot Expect To ‘Stay Safe’
Alt Text

China Aims To Boost Ethanol Production

China’s growing demand for renewables…

Alt Text

Cheaper, Cleaner Biofuel May Be Right Around The Corner

Researchers At Worcester Polytechnic Institute…

Alt Text

The Overlooked Downside Of Ethanol

Ethanol is known to damage…

Brian Westenhaus

Brian Westenhaus

Brian is the editor of the popular energy technology site New Energy and Fuel. The site’s mission is to inform, stimulate, amuse and abuse the…

More Info

Trending Discussions

Bioscience Breakthrough Turns Plant Waste Into Gasoline

KU Leuven, Belgium bioscience engineers have developed a roadmap, so to speak, for industrial cellulose gasoline.

The bioscience engineers already knew how to make gasoline in the laboratory from plant waste such as sawdust. In 2014, at KU Leuven’s Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, the researchers succeeded in converting sawdust into building blocks for gasoline.

A chemical process made it possible to convert the cellulose – the main component of plant fibers – in the sawdust into hydrocarbon chains. These hydrocarbons can be used as an additive in gasoline. The resulting cellulose gasoline is a second-generation biofuel.

The team’s research paper has been published in Nature Energy.

Professor Bert Sels explained, “We start with plant waste and use a chemical process to make a product that is a perfect replica of its petrochemical counterpart. In the end product, you can only tell the difference with fossil gasoline using carbon dating.”

For this type of bio-refining, the researchers built a chemical reactor in their lab, with which they can produce cellulose gasoline on a small scale. “But the question remained how the industry can integrate this and could produce it in large quantities. Our researcher, Aron Deneyer, has now investigated this. He examined in which section of the existing petroleum refining process the cellulose is best added to the petroleum to obtain a strongly bio-sourced gasoline. In other words, we now have a ready-to-use recipe for cellulose gasoline that the industry can apply directly: without loss of quality for the gasoline and making maximum use of existing installations, said Sels.



Direct upstream integration graphic of biogasoline production into current light straight run naphtha petrorefinery processes. Image Credit: KU Leuven’s Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis. Click image for the largest view. Click the link to the study paper for a complete explanation. Related: The Biggest Wildcard In The Iran Sanctions Saga

Cellulose gasoline must be seen as a transitional phase, Professor Sels emphasized. “The cellulose is still mixed with petroleum: this gasoline will never be sourced 100 percent from renewable raw materials. Current consumption is too high to produce all gasoline from plant waste. However, our product does already offer the possibility of using greener gasoline while a large proportion of the vehicles on our roads still run on liquid fuel. In the future, we will remain dependent on liquid fuels, albeit to a lesser extent, and then they may indeed be fully bio-based. We therefore suspect that the industry will show interest in this process.”

This is very interesting research with useful results. And Professor Sels deserves some credit for optimism. But the petroleum industry has a quite good supply of crude oil, natural gas and liquids for now and are impressively always good at holding their market together. Just how they may find making money using this process is the trillion-dollar question. Answer that in an exciting way and this will take off.

By New Energy And Fuel

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment





Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News