Researcher synthesizes ruthenium nanoparticles to produce biofuel from organic waste

September 12, 2018 |

In Russia, a chemist from RUDN synthesized new catalysts with ruthenium (Ru) nanoparticles for producing biofuel from organic biowaste. Nanocatalysts support more intensive and sustained reactions than the compounds currently available in the market. The results of the study were published in the ChemSusChem journal.

He works on the synthesis of gamma-valerolactone (GVL) together with his Chinese and Spanish colleagues. This colorless liquid can be obtained from food waste or harvesting leftovers. GVL may be used as a safe solvent or an additive to gasoline or may be distilled into hydrocarbons, “green fuel” for internal combustion engines.

Industrial use of GVL is hindered by two main issues. First of all, its manufacture involves expensive catalysts. Current market supply consists of substances based on precious metals such as ruthenium. Second, the available catalysts are unable to support a sustained reaction.

The authors of the article in ChemSusChem suggested a solution for both issues. They synthesized four new catalysts based on titanium dioxide crystals with 1 percent, 2 percent, 3 percent and 5 percent share of ruthenium nanoparticles (currently, the catalyzers contain over 5 percent). In a series of experiments, chemists looked for not only the most active, but also the most stable catalyst able to support a reaction for a long time.

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Category: Research

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