Chilean scientists produce biodiesel from microalgae

Chilean scientists have produced biodiesel from microalgae in a process they hope can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent and cut pollution in cities like Santiago.

Researchers at the department of Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses at Chile’s Pontifical Catholic University grew enough algae to process into biodiesel.

That process requires the algae to be broken down and its oil extracted. Then the moisture and debris is removed so it can be converted into biofuel.

Currently, most of the world’s biodiesel comes from soybean oil.

Corn, canola, and palm oil are also used to produce biofuels, which can replace petroleum-based gasoline and diesel. Biofuels are already mixed into these fuels in the United States by federal mandate.

The new process holds promise but significant challenges remain, said professor César Sáez.

“To produce a sufficient amount to use them in fuel requires a large amount of biomass and that is actually one of our challenges as engineers,” he said.

It needs to be cost effective to grow and process the microalgae if it is to be competitive with conventional fuels. Scientists are experimenting with different light wavelengths and other aspects to improve the process.

The scientists hope to improve the technology and ramp up production using little energy, Sáez said.

“We want to focus on processes that are very efficient in the use of energy,” he said.

Ricardo Garcia, a professor of automobile mechanics at the university, said cleaning up the air was a key goal.

“The biofuel product from the algae grown in the laboratory, would be an effective method to reduce the particulate material that our city experiences during the autumn and winter seasons.”

 
 
 
 
 

President Trump Announces New Sanctions on North Korea

President Trump Announces New Sanctions on North Korea
President Donald Trump said he has signed an executive order imposing sanctions on the North Korean regime. Under the ...
READ MORE >
 
US

Obama’s UN Ambassador May Have Spied On Trump Team

Obama’s UN Ambassador May Have Spied On Trump Team
Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the Obama administration, made over 260 requests to ...
READ MORE >
 

UN Blocks Largest Independent Chinese News Network in US from Covering General Assembly

UN Blocks Largest Independent Chinese News Network in US from Covering General Assembly
The largest Chinese news network operating in the United States—and the only global media company producing Chinese-language content independent ...
READ MORE >
 

Evidence Emerging That New Sanctions on North Korea are Working

Evidence Emerging That New Sanctions on North Korea are Working
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said that there are indications that sanctions imposed on North Korea ...
READ MORE >
 

This epic dad will dance with his daughter when mom isn’t home

This epic dad will dance with his daughter when mom isn’t home
When Rujeana, mother of two small children wasn't home her husband had to take care of the children. Normally hilarious ...
READ MORE >