'New tailor-made biopolymers produced from lignocellulosic sugars waste for highly demanding fire-resistant applications'

Ethyl 3-ethoxybutyrate, a new component of the transportation renewable fuel portfolio

Publication date: 1 December 2015
Source:Fuel, Volume 161

Author(s): Michael P. Bunce, John M.E. Storey, Jennifer W. Edmonds, Robert H. Findlay, Stephen M.C. Ritchie, Laurent Eyers, Zackery A. McMurry, James C. Smoot

The vast majority of energy that powers our global economy is from combustion of fossil fuels with the unintended consequence of increased deposition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans. The scientific and technical challenges for the energy sector are to develop renewable energy sources that are sufficient to meet human energy consumption, are economically viable, and are ecologically sustainable. We investigated ethyl 3-ethoxybutyrate (EEB) as a fuel oxygenate in ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) with a bench-scale research engine and determined its economic potential as a renewable fuel with technoeconomic modeling using wastewater treatment plant biosolids as the feedstock for poly-3-hydroxyalkanoates (PHB), a bacterial storage polymer from which EEB can be synthesized. EEB blended well with ULSD, and cetane values of 10% and 20% v/v EEB?ULSD blends exceeded 40. A diesel internal combustion engine fueled with 5%, 10%, and 20% EEB?ULSD blends met or exceeded all tested transportation diesel fuel emissions criteria. Inedible organic feedstocks may be used to produce PHB; and thus, EEB might contribute to carbon reductions without compromising performance or air pollutant emissions. However, further research is needed to determine its role in the overall fuel portfolio.

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This project has received funding from the European Unionís Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration