A 'shrimp cocktail' to fuel cars and trucks

Jul 29, 2009
A substance made from shrimp shells may transform biodiesel production into a faster, less expensive and more eco-friendly process, researchers are reporting. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Call it a "shrimp cocktail" for your fuel tank. Scientists in China are reporting development of a catalyst made from shrimp shells that could transform production of biodiesel fuel into a faster, less expensive, and more environmentally friendly process. Their study is scheduled for the Aug. 20 issue of ACS' Energy & Fuels journal.

Xinsheng Zheng and colleagues note that an energy-hungry world, concerned about global warming, increasingly puts its future fuel hopes on renewable fuels like biodiesel. Today's biodiesel production processes, however, require catalysts to speed up the chemical reactions that transform soybean, canola, and other plant oils into diesel .

Traditional catalysts cannot be reused and must be neutralized with large amounts of water — another increasingly scarce resource — leaving behind large amounts of polluted wastewater.

The researchers describe development of a new catalyst produced from shells. In laboratory tests, the shrimp shell catalysts converted canola oil to biodiesel (89 percent conversion in three hours) faster and more efficiently than some conventional catalysts. The new catalysts also can be reused and the process minimizes waste production and pollution, the scientists note.

More information: "Shrimp Shell for Biodiesel Production"; Energy & Fuels

Source: American Chemical Society (news : web)

Explore further: The chemistry of beer and coffee

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Waste coffee grounds offer new source of biodiesel fuel

Dec 10, 2008

Researchers in Nevada are reporting that waste coffee grounds can provide a cheap, abundant, and environmentally friendly source of biodiesel fuel for powering cars and trucks. Their study has been published ...

Biodiesel fuel use growing steadily

Jul 03, 2006

Biodiesel fuel, a renewable energy source, is beginning to integrate into the U.S. farming and trucking industries, the San Francisco Chronicle says.

Finding a better way to make biodiesel

Jun 19, 2006

They're only 250 billionths of a meter in diameter. But fill them with the right chemistry and Iowa State scientists say the tiny nanospheres they've developed could revolutionize how biodiesel is produced.

Generating hydrogen from biodiesel waste

Nov 27, 2007

Researchers at the University of Leeds have a potential solution to the problem of large quantities of low value by-product generated in the synthesis of biodiesel – by turning it into high value hydrogen.

Recommended for you

Simulations for better transparent oxide layers

3 hours ago

Touchscreens and solar cells rely on special oxide layers. However, errors in the layers' atomic structure impair not only their transparency, but also their conductivity. Using atomic models, Fraunhofer ...

The chemistry of beer and coffee

7 hours ago

University of Alabama at Birmingham professor Tracy Hamilton, Ph.D., is applying his chemistry expertise to two popular beverages: beer and coffee.

A new synthetic amino acid for an emerging class of drugs

Aug 31, 2014

Swiss scientists have developed a new amino acid that can be used to modify the 3-D structure of therapeutic peptides. Insertion of the amino acid into bioactive peptides enhanced their binding affinity up to 40-fold. Peptides ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

bhiestand
not rated yet Jul 30, 2009
These stories always disturb me. In a world where hunger is still a problem, diverting vast quantities of crops from food into biofuels doesn't seem like a smart, or sustainable, move.