A group of Chemists from the University of Leicester have developed a way of purifying biodiesel made from vegetable oils, which is cheap, simple and low in toxicity.
The team, led by Professor Andrew Abbott is able to remove glycerol, the main by-product of vegetable oil-based biodiesel, using ionic liquids made in part by vitamin B4 (choline chloride).
If left in biodiesel, glycerol (a syrupy sugar alcohol) would damage engines but this technique simply washes it out of the fuel. The ionic liquid developed by Professor Abbott uses a complex of choline chloride with glycerol to extract more glycerol out of the biodiesel.
The Leicester process is greener than traditional processes and effectively provides a sustainable methodology for the purification of biodiesel without the production of significant waste.
Professor Abbott commented: “We hope that further research will optimise the ionic liquid recycling and recovery of the glycerol. We are hoping to collaborate with a biodiesel producer to test this technology further.”
Notes to Editors: For more information on this please contact Professor Andrew Abbott, Department of Chemistry, University of Leicester, tel 0116 252 2087, email email@example.com
Ranked joint top for two consecutive years for the quality of teaching and overall satisfaction amongst full-time students at English universities
Ranked as a Top 20 university by The Times Good University Guide and The Guardian University League TableOne of just 19 UK universities to feature in world’s top 200- Shanghai Jiao Tong International Index, 2005 and 2006.
Students’ Union of the Year award 2005, short listed 2006
Founded in 1921, the University of Leicester has 19,000 students from 136 countries. Teaching in 18 subject areas has been graded Excellent by the Quality Assurance Agency- including 14 successive scores - a consistent run of success matched by just one other UK University. Leicester is world renowned for the invention of DNA Fingerprinting by Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys and houses Europe's biggest academic Space Research Centre. 90% of staff are actively engaged in high quality research and 13 subject areas have been awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level. The University's research grant income places it among the top 20 UK research universities. The University employs over 3,000 people, has an annual turnover of £173m, covers an estate of 94 hectares and is engaged in a £300m investment programme- among the biggest of any UK university.
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
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