An international research team from Leuven (Belgium) and Utrecht University (the Netherlands) developed a new method of production that allows to obtain a more environmentally friendly diesel fuel. Scientists say the technology can be easily scaled to industrial volumes over the next decade. In other words, soon this fuel will be able to go all diesel cars.
Generally produce diesel? Due to the special elements — catalysts. They speed up chemical reactions, transforming the oil, from which diesel is in the fuel, which you subsequently fill up. In the production process of the fuel molecules interact with the catalytic materials.
Typically, the catalysts are placed as close as possible to each other, which simplifies the movement of the original substances between them. But scientists decided to try to put them closer. What came out of it?
How to make clean diesel
The researchers found that if you position the components at a distance of several nanometers from each other (0.00000001 of a millimeter), then the reaction will be obtained much more environmentally friendly fuel. To ensure the veracity of their findings, the researchers triple-checked the result.
We repeated the experiment three times to come to a common conclusion: the modern theory is incorrect. The distance between the functions inside the catalyst should be minimal. This is contrary to what the industry the last half-century, said scientists.
According to the researchers, this discovery may have a big impact. Cars that run on cleaner diesel engine will emit much less harmful substances. The results of the study were published in the journal Nature.
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This is not the first attempt to make a clean diesel. In 2015, the first factory for the production of synthetic fuel began its work in the city of Dresden under the control of the German startup Sunfire. The basis of the new fuel is called “blue oil” begins with extraction of electricity from renewable sources (wind, sun, etc.). The resulting electricity is used to produce hydrogen from water using electrolysis reversible. The hydrogen is mixed with carbon dioxide, which was converted to the new gas by means of two chemical processes. The result is a liquid, which is also called “blue oil”. It and produced synthetic fuel E-Diesel. The factory produces 160 litres of synthetic fuel per day — this is not enough to completely fill even three cars.
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New production method proposed by scientists from Belgium and the Netherlands, involves large amounts of fuel, so that it could become a basis of transition to “eco” diesel. It is hoped that it will be implemented sooner than scientists say.
Well, at least you can always ride on used vegetable oil from McDonald’s — even the engine rework is not necessary. However, such fuel is hardly environmentally friendly (and useful).