Suck It Up – Better Method and Materials for Removing Water From Ethanol

July 15, 2017 |

In Canada, University of Saskatchewan researchers have found a new and cheaper way to separate water from ethanol which could decrease costs for producing biofuel. With traditional distillation methods, some water remains, but researchers solved this problem by using non-toxic modified starch-based materials, like corn and potatoes, that act like selective sponges and don’t require energy to remove water. In fact, the new method is 40 times better at removing water compared to traditional distillation and suck up 80 times more water than ethanol.

The uses of the starch-based materials aren’t just for ethanol and biofuels, though, as they are also testing them with air conditioning systems to see if they remove moisture and humidity better. So far, tests have shown a 13 percent more efficient moisture removal than current products.

Researchers hope to bring the new method and materials to commercialization in the next five years.

 

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Category: Research

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