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 Improved stability of plastic light-emitting diodes
19.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung

nachricht Intelligent components for the power grid of the future
18.04.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

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: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

Scientists create innovative new 'green' concrete using graphene

24.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

24.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>