Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur have developed a new method for manufacturing bio-jet fuel from plant-based biomass. This breakthrough has the potential to supply more economical and ecologically friendly fuels to the aviation industry, which might have a big impact on the energy sector.
The team has developed a low-cost solution to a long-standing problem in the aviation sector. They created an easily accessible iron-based catalyst (Fe/Silica-Alumina) and combined it with non-edible oils and waste biomass to create bio-jet fuel. Because of this discovery, the production process is now lucrative.
The worldwide aviation industry is primarily reliant on petroleum-based fuels, with a daily fuel requirement of approximately 800 million gallons. As a result, it is one of the most energy-intensive industries on the planet.
In comparison to ground transportation or residential and commercial buildings, the aviation industry, with existing technology, cannot easily convert to renewable energy sources.
Plant-based bio-jet fuels, according to experts in the journal Sustainable Energy and Fuels, could be a competitive and ecologically benign alternative to existing petroleum fuels. This has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically.
This research is critical for producing aviation fuel utilizing a catalyst comprised of Fe/SiO2-AI2O3, which is abundant on Earth. With low hydrogen pressure and gentle reaction conditions, the catalyst, which is similar to natural clay, can be reused up to ten times (but it can really be used for more than 50 cycles). This is especially beneficial for making bio-jet fuel.
The results of this study are encouraging, especially given the catalyst’s strong acidity and distinct texture, which may be created utilizing moderate processing conditions such as low H2 pressure without the need of a solvent. The Department of Biotechnology also contributes to this research via the DBT PAN-IIT Centre for Bioenergy.
According to Dr. Rakesh K Sharma, Professor at IIT Jodhpur’s Department of Chemistry, their study is notable since they were able to manufacture bio jet fuel from biomass using a reusable and earth-abundant iron catalyst. Furthermore, this approach has improved efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation business.
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