Duckweed for Biofuel?

Celsias

The search for a less-expensive, sustainable source of biomass, or plant material, for producing gasoline, diesel and jet fuel has led scientists to duckweed, that fast-growing floating plant that turns ponds and lakes green. That’s the topic of a report in ACS’ journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

duckweedChristodoulos A. Floudas, Xin Xiao and colleagues explain that duckweed, an aquatic plant that floats on or near the surface of still or slow-moving freshwater, is ideal as a raw material for biofuel production. It grows fast, thrives in wastewater that has no other use, does not impact the food supply and can be harvested more easily than algae and other aquatic plants. However, few studies have been done on the use of duckweed as a raw material for biofuel production.

They describe four scenarios for duckweed refineries that use proven existing technology to produce gasoline, diesel and kerosene. Those technologies include conversion of biomass to a gas; conversion of the gas to methanol, or wood alcohol; and conversion of methanol to gasoline and other fuels. The results show that small-scale duckweed refineries could produce cost-competitive fuel when the price of oil reaches $100 per barrel. Oil would have to cost only about $72 per barrel for larger duckweed refiners to be cost-competitive.

Add a comment
  • to get your picture next to your comment (not a member yet?).
  • Posted on March 14, 2013. Listed in:

    Pledge to do these related actions

    Switch from paper to continuous cloth towels for the office , 21°

    Paper towels are more expensive and more harmful to the environment than cabinet towels (aka ...

    Welcome the President-elect!, 2°

    On Tuesday, November 18, volunteers will gather all over the country -- with help from ...

    Get Your Own Website with a Bright Green Web Host, 93°

    Your website, as an expression of your vision and passion, is the greatest shot you've ...

    Follow these related projects

    Food for Change

    Global, New Zealand

    Locksmith Fort Wayne

    United States

    Featured Companies & Orgs