Affordable Butane Biofuel Using TU-103 Bacteria And Old Newspapers

by Edward Xu

in alternative energy gadgets, green gadgets

Making butanol biofuel was once a hit in the alternative energies market back in early 2000, however with advanced of technologies in search for simpler, better and more affordable type of alternative fuel, scientists have made another discovery that uses conventional newspaper to convert into biofuel.

The biofuel process is possible owing to certain bacteria capable of providing natural fermentation, while the process itself demand less energy compare to conventional biofuel making process.

old-newspaper

The new developed biofuel making system utilize recycled materials rather than a food crop, and the result is butane, that could also substitute for gasoline fuel without needing any engine modifications. The butane itself has an edge over ethanol for lower toxic emission, while according to Kathryn Hobgood Ray, a writer at Tulane has reported, butane contains more energy than ethanol and offers lower carbon footprint than gasoline and less corrosive to fuel pipelines.

TU-103 Bacteria
The new bacteria is called TU-103 was discovered by a team lead by associate professor David Mullin, postdoctoral fellow Harshad Velankar, and undergraduate student Hailee Rask.

tulane-university-scientists-biofuel-butanol-tu-103-harshad-velankar-david-mullin-hailee-rask

This is the first bacteria of its kind that found in nature with capability to convert cellulose directly into butanol. On the other hand, U.S. Department of Energy’s researchers are developing another type of biofuel microbe that capable to produce butanol from waste materials, including agricultural waste.

University of Alabama, at the other side, is developing a butane-producing bacteria that lives on glycerol, a byproduct of biofuel operations.

TU0-103-bacteria

However, even though the glycerine by-product burns well, but unless it’s properly combusted at high temperatures, it will release toxic acrolein fumes, which mainly form at between 200 and 300 deg C (392-572 deg F).

Despite the pros and cons of new biofuels, during Obama Administration over this summer alone, biofuel industry has created new green jobs in rural communities. Base on Biofuels Digest’s report, within the first half of this year alone in U.S, has produced more biodiesel than last year’s first half, which reached about 315 million gallons. The U.S biofuel industry is reported to schedule for 800 million gallons of biofuel production this year.

Image Credit: Flickr

[ Source: Clean Technica ]

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