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Biofuel research, capability and drivers at the University of Bath Crops to Combustion.

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Presentation on theme: "Biofuel research, capability and drivers at the University of Bath Crops to Combustion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biofuel research, capability and drivers at the University of Bath Crops to Combustion

2 People Prof. Rod Scott Plant Scientist Prof. Matt Davidson Inorganic Chemistry Prof. Gary Hawley Automotive Engineer Prof. Stan Kolackowski Chemical Engineer A multidisciplinary research team comprising four industry facing Professors, four Research Fellows and over 16 PhD students

3 Nature of our work & associated expertise A mixture of fundamental and applied research across our discipline bases which is addressing: Using cutting-edge molecular genetic tools to understand and enhance yield in the oil-seed model plant, Arabidopsis. We ask the question - How do we match geographic locality to bio-energy production to encapsulate and optimise the entire value chain? The development of environmentally benign catalysts for sustainable chemistry applications. We ask the question - What choice and mix of pathways are required to promote desirable reactions including opportunities for multistage low energy reactions?

4 Nature of our work & associated expertise Chemical process that address efficient and compact biodiesel production processes. We ask the question -What design concepts should be considered to enable the realisation of compact biofuel reactors? The optimisation of biodiesel fuel within internal combustion engines. We ask the question -What type of research will be required to assure future bio-diesel fuel quality, and how does quality harmonise with fuel standards and environmental quality? What chemical or molecular modifications of biofuels are (i) desirable and (ii) feasible to enhance biofuel 'quality'?

5 Research Capability – Plant Science GM standard containment glasshouse Controlled environment growth rooms New molecular research lab (built 2005) Liquid handling robots DNA sequencer Nikon University of Bath Imaging suite (NUBIS)

6 Research Capability – State-of-the-art laboratory, catalyst testing and analytical facilities New Laboratory facilities (£12M) Mass spectrometry (ESI Micro-TOF) Catalyst synthesis and testing (inert-atmosphere, parallel screening, high pressure etc.) X-ray crystallography (single crystal < 30 K, powder) NMR spectroscopy (250, 300, 500, 600 MHz)

7 Research Capability – Chemical Engineering Pilot – Scale Laboratory Experiments in walk-in fume cupboards New Laboratory facilities in 2001 Development of Process Flowsheets using ASPEN Reactor modelling and simulation MATLAB, FORTRAN (Nag Routines), CFD codes (FLUENT, COMSOL) Air or O 2 Syngas H 2 CO CO 2 H 2 O Biomass Ash

8 Research Capability – Experimental facilities include £7M of equipment Chassis Dynamometer Dynamic Engine Dynamometer 1 Industry Standard Emissions Measurement Capabilities Dynamic Transmission Dynamometer Dynamic Engine Dynamometer 3 Dynamic Engine Dynamometer 2

9 Drivers for this research The Market. The alternative fuel market in Europe is not well defined, volume is low and is less than 1.5% of all on-road vehicles. In UK the biodiesel market is focused on waste fat and oil and in 2005 and accounted for a major proportion of the entire 0.3% of alternative fuel on the road. The UK Market 2006/07. UK biodiesel fuel sales 2006/07 – 199,976 tonnes (0.5% of the fuel market) (German biodiesel production – 2,100,000 tonnes) The Renewable Fuel Transport Obligation. In the United Kingdom it is a requirement on transport fuel suppliers to ensure that, by 2010, 5% of all road vehicle fuel is supplied is from sustainable renewable sources. The RTFO will help bring the UK into line with European Union biofuels directive, which sets targets for all EU countries for biofuel usage of 5.75% by the end of 2010.United Kingdom2010European Union biofuels directive

10 Potential collaborative/project areas Sensors. Sensors that can detect important biofuel properties to reduce the impact of fuel quality variation Properties. To better understand the chemical-thermal-physical properties on engine operation, integrity and performance. Synthetic biodiesel. Modulation of the chemical-thermal-physical properties of biodiesel properties to achieve optimum engine/vehicle characteristics, some examples below: Mitigating the lubricating oil dilution issue Mitigating cold start issues Mitigating the adverse effects on lubrication oil lubricity Trials & techniques. Aimed at improving the quality of the biofuel produced (could involve additional catalytic steps/membrane/separation processes). Catalysts. Catalyst development both homogeneous and heterogeneous Bioreactors. Micro bioreactors for local processing of feedstocks. Pilot-scale laboratory trials to test the viability of the chemistry at a scale that will enable the process to be scaled-up to a production plant and costed. Feedstocks and yield. Investigating the potential of high yield feedstocks such as algae as well as enhancing the oil yield of current crops.

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