Here's hoping it leaves your exhaust smelling like french fries. . . like biodiesel does. :)
6th February, 2014 @ 1:44 p.m. (California Time)
Couldn't you call any blend of corn-based ethenol and gasoline a "biopetrol"????
6th February, 2014 @ 6:58 p.m. (California Time)
The Skud, the article describes a product - a 'biopetrol' that would be a direct replacement for gasoline. You refer to a 'blend' of ethanol and gasoline, with the current acceptable recipe calling for 90% gasoline to 10% ethanol.
So in my opinion, no. They are two distinctly different formulas/products.
Noel K Frothingham
6th February, 2014 @ 9:06 p.m. (California Time)
This may sound like a "break through" but in reality, it can be done using existing conventional equipment. This would be a cracker followed by a hydrotreater designed to handle a higher oxygen load than petrochemical oils. The final twist is that there is a layer of isomerising catalyst in the bottom of the hydrotreater to change from polymers from linear to branched. We are doing this in synthetic diesel production from biomass. In our case we do not crack all the way down to gasoline (but could) and then hydrotreat and, in winter, isomerise.
7th February, 2014 @ 1:31 a.m. (California Time)
Whenever I hear mention of bio-fuels among the things that spring to mind is a long conversation that I once had with a fuel engineer who worked for a well-known aero engine manufacturer.
This happened about six years ago now, so things might have improved in the meantime, but this engineer expressed a concern that her work on bio-fuels had shown that they degraded markedly compared to conventional fuels and storage needed careful monitoring. (Obviously, long-term on-board storage is not a problem with aero engines.)
I imagine most diesel engined vehicles also cycle their fuel quite rapidly, especially seeing as most are commercial in nature. On the other hand, gasoline powered vehicles sometimes gather dust for months, only coming out on high days and holidays. I assume such usage will be considered in the event of any changeover to bio-gasoline. It might make little difference or it might be vital.
It would be sad for the family, all dressed up in their Sunday best, to get into their 1928 vintage Bentley, which is their pride and joy, to go for a trip to the sea-side, only for it not to start because the fuel had degraded too much over the winter. (Even starting the thing every fortnight or so, wouldn't do anything to help fix the problem, if problem there be, of course.)
7th February, 2014 @ 5:06 a.m. (California Time)
Well,Mel,anybody owning any kind of vehicle that is put in storage for months should know that fuel,even petroleum based fuel,deteriorates over time-ignorance is no excuse.
7th February, 2014 @ 8:29 a.m. (California Time)
While this is interesting, I always wonder how much cheaper is it, is it as powerful as current fuels, and what will it cost at the pump? Also, what changes to vehicle fuel delivery systems must be made… it all sounds good, but is it economically viable, and can it be mass-produced?
7th February, 2014 @ 8:44 a.m. (California Time)
Great; just in time for electric and fuel-cell vehicles. Seriously, this makes the arguments against fracking, drilling and pipeline a LOT more credible.
7th February, 2014 @ 8:58 a.m. (California Time)
Will it become illegal to make our own?
7th February, 2014 @ 9:21 a.m. (California Time)
Don't hold your breath. When an academic institution makes an announcement like this, you can be guaranteed they're angling for more grant money. I've counted over a thousand such "breakthrough" articles over the last decade, and have yet to see any of them result in a real product. How many decades have we pursued the elusive fusion power, and how many hundreds of billion dollars spent without reaching breakthrough?
This is not to say that energy technology won't continue to improve, but the evolutionary path to combustion-free power is going to take time.
7th February, 2014 @ 9:32 a.m. (California Time)
The concept sound great. What is the effect on gaskets, O-rings, hoses, and other components historically used in the auto industry.
The present usage of ethanol causes fuel usage issues. Increasing ethanol percentage then causes hardening of gaskets, O-rings, hoses and other components.
If this new technology is going to force automobile replacement to use, the value to consumers declines until the rapid change of fueling technology stabilizes.
7th February, 2014 @ 9:49 a.m. (California Time)
Anything to keep us off of foreign oil is good enough for me; fraking, drilling, switchgrass, etc.
7th February, 2014 @ 10:56 a.m. (California Time)
Thank you for this informative and interesting article.
7th February, 2014 @ 11:09 a.m. (California Time)
There's already a biofuel replacement for gasoline. Isopropanol. Vehicles don't need modification to use it and many get the same MPG as with gasoline.
The problem with it is there's no government funding, which is mostly going to electric and hybrids using conventional fuels.
Same problem as hydraulic hybrids had in the late 70's, despite proving they could get 60+ MPG and have freeway cruising speed capability. The grant money was only going to pure electric vehicles.
Right now the USA is a net exporter of both crude oil and gasoline, yet we're still importing oil. There needs to be some changes in that. If we're pumping more oil than we're using, WTH are we importing oil and exporting gasoline?!?! Also WTH is gasoline still over $3 a gallon if there's so much excess produced?
7th February, 2014 @ 1:43 p.m. (California Time)
great...another fuel competing for our food.
7th February, 2014 @ 2:18 p.m. (California Time)
It must be determined how much energy is consumed to produce the energy...
and how much biomass is needed to produce such fuel?
Gallon for gallon,
Water has 2.5 times the combustive energy of gasoline
gasoline must only be vaporized to burn while water must be atomized
which,so far,requires more energy (on demand) than can be efficiently applied.
Gasoline does NOT burn as a liquid-
it spontaneously vaporizes from the heat generated by the burning vapor.
as for this fuel,realistically,
How many acres (and how much time&money) would it take to produce enough biomass to provide significant fuel?
Sadly,University research is far too often more into job-security than
ESPECIALLY in California.
UC San Diego just got $100 million dollars for a
stem cell research center-
Research is BIG business...
even in universities.
the world is as dependent on plastic and other petrochemical products as it is on fuel oil-
there are alternatives for this BUT the infrastructure is NOT in place to utilize them.
Big oil "stagnant quo" is just as powerful in that stranglehold as it is in just the energy field.
I wish these guys all the best but I would not expect this to become significantly utilized for 20 years or more...
I have to consider this to be a great concept on the surface that is far from being a practical solution.
We NEED water-
yet we cannot even efficiently desalinate seawater?
This planet is mostly COVERED in water....
yet we call it "earth"!
7th February, 2014 @ 3:10 p.m. (California Time)
Mass produce & lisc for CA market, esp So CA market.
Pay near 4.00 for Regular gas,
need some price competition alone.
7th February, 2014 @ 3:26 p.m. (California Time)
Like many mentioned already. University research using taxpayer money patenting for its own benefit should not be allowed. Products like these will never be available to the market because researchers will receive additional funds from oil companies and put this research into basements.
7th February, 2014 @ 5:33 p.m. (California Time)
I have to roll my eyes at the "great...another fuel competing for our food." comment and wonder if Ed even read the article. The last time I checked, humans weren't eating "corn stalks, straw or other plant waste."
Then there was Gregg Eshelman's comment "...Isopropanol. Vehicles don't need modification to use it..." Diesel engines don't need to be modified to run on Biodiesel. Perhaps you are thinking of engines that are converted to run on vegetable oil? Gasoline engines wouldn't need any modification to run on biogasoline, either.
Plus, if it works the way biodiesel does in diesel engines, biogasoline will actually lubricate the gaskets, o-rings, and hoses used in the car industry per the question that BaPaRoy raised.
I'd like to see the DIY community figure out a way to produce biogasoline at home, the same way it figured out how to produce biodiesel from used vegetable oil. If plant waste is a truly possible source, we could use our lawn trimmings to create biogasoline for our cars.
8th February, 2014 @ 8:35 a.m. (California Time)
@ Gene Jordan
Corn stalks at least are great cattle feed.
Beef it's what's for dinner.
8th February, 2014 @ 11:05 a.m. (California Time)
They could genetically engineer corn plants not to grow ears? I could an other bin! Let's see, now I have the trash bin I roll out to the street every Wednesday, the recycle bin I roll out every other week, the green waste bin I roll out every other week, the aluminum can bin I cash in every few months and the plastic bottle bin I cash in a couple times a year. Now I can add the biogas bin, toss in plant waste, pour out gas for my car. I don't have room for a car now.
11th February, 2014 @ 10:30 a.m. (California Time)