Tuesday, April 12, 2005

New Method Of Biodiesel Production

Science Blog points to a USDA Agricultural Research Service piece about producing biodiesel using a simplified process. Most biodiesel starts with soy beans and strips the oil from the plant using hexane, a petroleum derivative. Instead, biologist Karen M. Scott, chemist Thomas A. Foglia, and biochemist Michael Haas have created a process that skips that step. Instead, oil is leached from the bean using methanol and sodium hydroxide. The normal cost of biodiesel is $0.38/gallon, but this method produced biodiesel at $1.02/gallon. This price may be further reduced by the sale of the waste protein from the soybeans.

Update: Heh, I thought I saw that on Green Car Congress first.