Navigation Links
Scientists' breakthrough in production of biofuels

A team of scientists from the University of Sheffield have scooped an international award in recognition of their work on an innovative device which will make the production of alternative biofuels more energy efficient.

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."


Contact: Lauren Anderson
University of Sheffield

Related biology news :

1. Scientists create early-warning system to defend rare Jersey cows from continental disease
2. New discovery by Harvard scientists aims to correct cellular defects leading to diabetes
3. Scripps Florida scientists show lifeless prions capable of evolutionary change and adaptation
4. Tarantula venom-based MD therapy to be advanced by UB scientists biotech company
5. Rice scientists divide and conquer
6. Johns Hopkins scientists discover a controller of brain circuitry
7. UCLA scientists find molecular switch to prevent Huntingtons disease in mice
8. Turtles Christmas journey tracked by scientists
9. Scientists isolate new antifreeze molecule in Alaska beetle
10. Scientists use nanosensors for first time to measure cancer biomarkers in blood
11. Scripps Research scientists crack mystery of proteins dual function
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , Revenues amounted to ... of 2015 The gross margin was 49% (27) ... operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per share rose ... was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook   ... The operating margin for 2016 is estimated to exceed ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... 20, 2016 The new GEZE ... compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. ... or the door interface with integration authorization management system, ... systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control and ... building installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... April 14, 2016 BioCatch ... Detection, today announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger ... role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a ... of the deployment of its platform at several of ... technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Newly created 4Sight Medical Solutions ... healthcare market. The company's primary focus is on new product introductions, to include ... are necessary to help companies efficiently bring their products to market. , The ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Epic Sciences unveiled a liquid biopsy ... PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) ... test has already been incorporated into numerous clinical ... Over 230 clinical trials are investigating ... PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. Drugs targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the development of novel compounds designed to target ... compound, napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation ... in the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal ... cancer stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young Investigator ... Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of 128 ... About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: