Bio-diesel from hemp plants

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

SCI­EN­TISTS col­lab­o­rat­ing in bio-diesel re­search at uni­ver­si­ties in Pak­istan, India and Italy have pub­lished a new method to con­vert hemp oil into bio-diesel us­ing mag­netic metal ox­ide par­ti­cles.

In a pa­per ti­tled “Ex­per­i­men­tal anal­y­sis of di-func­tional mag­netic ox­ide cat­a­lyst and its per­for­mance in the hemp plant biodiesel pro­duc­tion”, pub­lished in Ap­plied En­ergy, these sci­en­tists de­scribed us­ing nanome­tre­sized, mag­netic metal ox­ide par­ti­cles to catal­yse the con­ver­sion of hemp oil into biodiesel fuel.

They re­port a maximum biodiesel yield of 92,16% un­der op­ti­mal op­er­at­ing con­di­tions.

The sci­en­tist shared data from the Bio­fuel and Bio­di­ver­sity Lab­o­ra­tory in the Depart­ment of Plant Sci­ences, at the Quaid-i-Azam Univer­sity in Pak­istan, the ENEA/ ICTP Re­search Cen­tre Tri­saia in Italy and the School of Chem­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing at the Univer­siti Sains Malaysia.

While it will take a few more years to scale up their ex­per­i­ments, their re­search could solve the cur­rent choice bio­fuel grow­ers have to make — whether to use land to grow food for hu­mans or fuel for ve­hi­cles.

This faster way to turn hemp oil into bio-diesel means the lo­cal hemp plan­ta­tion through­out Africa may yet be­come har­vests that pro­vide fuel for older diesel en­gines across the con­ti­nent. An ear­lier study in 2010, a study pub­lished in by Richard Par­nas, a pro­fes­sor of chem­i­cal, ma­te­ri­als, and biomolec­u­lar en­gi­neer­ing at the Univer­sity of Con­necti­cut, showed vir­gin hemp seed oil can be turned into very good biodiesel us­ing a stan­dard­ised process called trans­es­ter­i­fi­ca­tion.

Par­ras said hemp farmers could pro­duce enough fuel to power their whole farm with the oil of hemp seeds.

— Wheels Re­porter.

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