New technology that turns waste into “green” fuel

New technology that turns waste into “green” fuel

Young Innovators: U of S advances new technology that turns waste into “green” fuel

Research associate Sonil Nanda holds biochar and the forestry waste that can produce it. (Photo by Dave Stobbe for the University of Saskatchewan) (for Saskatoon StarPhoenix Young Innovators column, April 2020) ORG XMIT: SK

Research associate Sonil Nanda holds biochar and the forestry waste that can produce it. DAVID STOBBE / Saskatoon

A University of Saskatchewan engineering research team is advancing the design and use of technology that will turn organic waste into environmentally friendly fuels and fertilizer — novel work that is also at the centre of a collaboration with NASA.

“We are improving existing eco-friendly technologies to more efficiently produce the next generation of biofuels that can help lower greenhouse emissions,” said Sonil Nanda, a chemical and biological engineering research associate.

Research associate Sonil Nanda holds biochar and the forestry waste that can produce it. DAVID STOBBE/Saskatoon

Nanda and his supervisor Ajay Dalai have successfully produced high-quality synthesis gas or “syngas,” a fuel gas mixture, using crop and forestry residues, food waste such as cooking oil, municipal solid waste, cattle manure, petroleum and petrochemical waste, and even scrap tires. They are among the very few in Canada who have succeeded.

Syngas — which consists of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and methane — could be a cheaper alternative to fossil fuels for generating heat, steam or power. It can also be used to create other by-products such as green diesel and hydrogen fuel cells for cars.

Author Federica Giannelli

SOURCE THE STAR PHOENIX