Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The search for fuels without contaminant components

26.05.2004


To convert a gaseous fuel into a clean liquid one is the target of the research project being undertaken by the School of Industrial Engineering and Telecommunications Engineers of Bilbao in the Basque Country. It involves, in the final analysis, obtaining fuels which do not have contaminant components, i.e. sulphur, nitrogen or aromatic components.



Participating in this project, financed by the MARCO programme of the European Union, are nine groups from different European countries, under the co-ordination of the School of Engineering. All of them are researching ways of obtaining clean fuels from natural gas.

The process basically consists of two stages: the first involves converting natural gas into synthesised gas, a mixture of carbon monoxide with carbon dioxide and hydrogen. In the second phase, this synthesised gas produces carbohydrates, from which petrol is subsequently produced.


The tasks corresponding to this first stage are being undertaken in a pilot plant at the University of the Basque Country (EHU/UPV). To this end, the EHU/UPV has a small reactor for such experiments. Fundamentally, work is being carried out to obtain catalysts for the conversion of the natural gas into that synthesised gas. These are necessary for the subsequent manufacture of hydrocarbons and what is being sought are catalysts where reactions can take place at lower temperatures, with greater criteria of selection, technically more efficient and economically more viable as well – in other words, reactions which are cheaper than those conventional catalysts. These catalysts, once prepared with these modifications and innovations and characterised, they have to be tested, i.e. they have to be made to react. Making the natural gas react with oxygen and also with water vapour in order to produce this synthesised gas, comparing how the different catalysts behave and selecting those showing the greatest advantages.

The process is very simple. The gas is introduced into the reactor, which is full of an inert material. The catalyst is introduced into the mix and the reaction initiated. This is the moment of transformation: the methane and oxygen converts into hydrogen and carbon monoxide. These gases go through a condenser, in which the water is drawn off and the gas is taken to the gas chromatograph.

In this machine the parts that have not reacted are analysed, as well as the yield (i.e. the level of conversion), etc. Aapart from testing the behaviour of various catalysts, researchers at the EHU/UPV experiment with the temperature, pressure, capacities, etc. All these parameters are controlled by computer.

Researchers have developed catalyst prototypes that notably enhance the behaviour of commercial products, as well as achieving the possibility of carrying out conversions at lower temperatures. Industrial application of the mentioned improvements considerably lower the production costs.

Researchers at the EHU/UPV are quite aware that natural gas reserves will one day dry up: This is why they are studying the possibilities of getting similar results from, for example, the gasification of the biomass. The research project is to finish in December of next year.

Nerea Pikabea | Basque research
Further information:
http://www.ehu.es
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Gelaxka=1_1&Berri_Kod=488&hizk=I

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Linear potentiometer LRW2/3 - Maximum precision with many measuring points
17.05.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH

nachricht First flat lens for immersion microscope provides alternative to centuries-old technique
17.05.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>