Daily Archives: 06/06/2005

Green Diesel From Plants to Power Cars

Making Green Diesel From Plants to Power Cars has made a giant step forward. Bio-diesel promises to significantly reduce our dependence on petroleum reserves, and to cut significantly cut CO2 emissions. While bio-diesel releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, theoretically that CO2 is re-absorbed by the next crop cycle for a net zero effect. Current bio-diesel fuels exploit only the fats and oils in plants, which account for a small part of the total biomass of a plant. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison however, have developed a process to convert the carbohydrate mass of a plant into bio-diesel. Using a series of platinum and magnesium catalysts, the researchers produced a diesel fuel from plant carbohydrates that can be used just like petroleum diesel. The next step is to develop a way to process the raw plant material into a carbohydrate paste, which will probably involve extensive processing. Still this new process is much more efficient than the current method that converts carbohydrates into ethanol, fuel additive. Hopefully this new bio-diesel will catch a fire in the sustainable development field.