• 5 minutes 'No - Deal Brexit' vs 'Operation Fear' Globalist Pushback ... Impact to World Economies and Oil
  • 8 minutes China has *Already* Lost the Trade War. Meantime, the U.S. Might Sanction China’s Largest Oil Company
  • 12 minutes Will Uncle Sam Step Up and Cut Production
  • 3 hours China has invested btw $30 - $40 Billon in Canadian Oil Sands. Trump should put 10% tariffs on all Chinese oil exported into or thru U.S. in which Chinese companies have invested .
  • 33 mins Tit For Tat: China Strikes Back In Trade Dispute With U.S. With New Tariffs
  • 14 hours Iran Is Winning Big In The Middle East
  • 2 hours Trump vs. Xi Trade Battle, Running Commentary from Conservative Tree House
  • 2 mins It's Not the Job of the Government to Dictate Where Businesses Should Go
  • 11 hours Strong, the Strongest: Audi To Join Mercedes, BMW Development Alliance
  • 14 hours IS ANOTHER MIDDLE EAST WAR REQUIRED TO BOLSTER THE OIL PRICE
  • 1 day Trump cancels Denmark visit amid spat over sale of Greenland
  • 15 hours Not The Onion: Vivienne Westwood Says Greta Thunberg Should Run the World
  • 23 hours OPEC will consider all options. What options do they have ?
  • 12 hours Wonders of US Shale: US Shale Benefits: The U.S. leads global petroleum and natural gas production with record growth in 2018
  • 7 hours Recession Jitters Are Rising. Is There Reason To Worry?
  • 14 hours Philadelphia Energy Solutions seeks to permanently shut oil refinery - sources
Alt Text

Ex-Trump Advisor Wins Big On EPA Biofuel Tweaks

Billionaire and ex-Trump advisor Carl…

Alt Text

The Fatal Flaw In The Ethanol Industry

The ethanol industry is extremely…

Alt Text

U.S. Biofuel Just Got A Major Bump

The European Commission just opened…

Haley Zaremba

Haley Zaremba

Haley Zaremba is a writer and journalist based in Mexico City. She has extensive experience writing and editing environmental features, travel pieces, local news in the…

More Info

Premium Content

India Makes Breakthrough In Biofuel Development

In the face of an international movement away from traditional fossil fuels and toward a greener future, many researchers around the world are rushing to find the next big breakthrough in the production of renewable resources, particularly via more and more efficient means of converting biomass. The latest headline to come from efforts of scientists around the globe is a new discovery by a team of scientists based in the west Indian city of Pune at the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), which offers a quicker, eco-friendly technique for converting industrial biomass into biodiesel.

The key to the scientists’ discovery is a new version of a zeolite catalyst – HPW/Meso-HZ-5 - which can be used to make the process of converting industrial biomass into an organic biofuel compound called furfural far more efficient. The current standard process of making furfural starts with biomass sourced from agricultural waste such as bagasse, cotton seed hulls, sawdust, oat hulls, rice hulls, wheat husk and bran, among others. After making the furfural, the current conventional first step toward making it into a viable biofuel is to chemically change it into furfuryl alcohol, which is then further processed to create alkyl levulinates. This process however, is a lengthy and complicated one with many steps. This is where the NCL team’s catalyst comes into play by considerably speeding up the process of conversion.

The zeolite catalyst has shown good results in tests with 100 percent furfuryl alcohol conversion along with 97 percent ethyl levulinate biodiesel yield (a type of alkyl levulinate) and 3 percent ethoxy methyl (a food additive) furan yield. Importantly, the new HPW/Meso-HZ-5 catalyst produced better results than its parent catalysts H-ZSM-5 and Meso-HZ-5 when used separately.

As explained by the research team, “due to higher number of active sites and larger pore size the travel distance is reduced, thereby improving accessibility of active sites. Low molar ratio of reactants would do away with the separation cost associated with unreacted ethanol, operational cost and reactor size, making the process economically viable and industrially safe.” Related: Why 2019 Could Start With An Oil Rally

The research team that discovered the enzyme is based in India, a country that is the second largest producer of sugarcane in the world and is also among the top producers globally of rice, pulses, and wheat, crops that all create a massive quantity of the agricultural waste necessary to create biofuel by converting into furfural then to biodiesel. If NCL’s discovery makes this method viable for production on a mass scale, it could mean major economic opportunity and additional income for farmers in India, as well as potentially creating jobs in poverty-stricken parts of the subcontinent.

This advancement in biofuels research is just one part of a massive campaign on the part of the Indian government to become a global leader in green energy. So far, the initiative has been more than successful, as India has already become the world’s single largest renewable energy auctions market and the second biggest attracter of clean energy investments according to numbers from the Climatescope 2018 report by Bloomberg NEF.

(Click to enlarge)

Last year India’s investing in its renewable energy sector surpassed spending in traditional fossil fuel-based power production for the first time in history according to the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s World Energy Investment 2018 report. At nearly $20 billion, investment in Indian renewables in 2017 represented more than a third of investments in the power sector, mostly due to investments in solar and wind projects nearly doubling.

India’s achievements in the green energy sector are particularly impressive when compared to energy sector spending worldwide, which has been in considerable decline for three consecutive years, landing at just $1.8 trillion in global energy investments in 2017. The IEA projects that the decline with continue over the next few years.

By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play