Aston University is working on a project to help produce sustainable biofuels for marine diesel engines.
As part of the ReShip project, a three-year endeavour funded with £321,000 from Norwegian industry partners and the Research Council of Norway, Aston will use its expertise in fast pyrolysis to develop alternative fuels for the shipping industry which – on a regional basis – is expected to adhere to new sulphur and carbon emissions regulations from 2015.
ReShip aims to develop pyrolysis oil-based multicomponent fuel that meets the performance requirements of marine diesel engines. It involves taking low quality wood waste left over from logging to produce new biofuels via fast pyrolysis, a process in which a material is heated in the absence of oxygen. The process converts the wood into crude pyrolysis oil but compared to petroleum-based oil, crude pyrolysis oil is unstable and can’t be used for direct use in diesel engines.
Led by Prof Tony Bridgwater, the Aston team will look to stabilise pyrolysis biofuel through mild, rapid, low temperature catalytic hydrogen treatment.