The research team has adapted a unique bioreactor for use in the production of alternative renewable fuels, to replace fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel. The manufacture of biofuels currently requires vast amounts of power and when the process uses too much energy, it is uneconomic. This new method consumes much less energy and could prove to be vital to the economic, green production of alternative fuels.
The team have devised an air-lift loop bioreactor which creates microbubbles using 18% less energy consumption. Microbubbles are miniature gas bubbles of less than 50 microns diameter in water. They are able to transfer materials in a bioreactor much more rapidly than larger bubbles produced by conventional bubble generation techniques and they consume much less energy. The team's unique adaption of the bioreactor and creation of microbubbles has the potential to revolutionise the energy-efficient production of biofuels.
In recognition of this breakthrough, the team have been awarded the Moulton Medal from the Institution of Chemical Engineers, which recognises the best paper published in the Institution's journal during the year. The team also submitted their project as a poster to the 6th Annual bioProcessUK conference, where it picked up the Best Poster Award.
The approach is currently being tested with researchers from Suprafilt in Rochdale on industrial stack gases. The team are also currently testing the application of the device with local water company Yorkshire Water. They are using the components of the bioreactor that produce microbubbles to give a better performance in the treatment of wastewater. They are predicting to reduce the current electricity costs for this process by a third.
Professor Will Zimmerman, from the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: "I am delighted that our team's work in energy efficient microbubble generation is being recognized by the Institution of Chemical Engineers. The potential for large energy savings with our microbubble generation approach is huge. I hope the award draws more industry attention to our work, particularly in commodity chemicals production for gas dissolution and stripping, where energy savings could enhance profitability. There are many routes to becoming green, and reducing energy consumption with the same or better performance must be the most painless."
Professor Martin Tillotson, from Yorkshire Water, added: "Many of our processes use forced air in order to treat water and wastewater streams and, given the huge volumes, it is very costly in electricity and carbon terms. This technology offers the potential to produce a step-change in energy performance. We are pleased to be working with Professor Zimmerman and his group in developing the microbubble technology, and delighted with the recognition they have received from the Moulton Medal award."
Lauren Anderson | EurekAlert!
It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries
20.08.2018 | Forschungszentrum Jülich
Energy-efficient spin current can be controlled by magnetic field and temperature
17.08.2018 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.
The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
20.08.2018 | Information Technology
20.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy