Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Biodiesel tested in Atlas rocket engine


A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest LLC (“ProQuest”) supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience. More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others.

More Info
									                                                                                             152         inform March 2009, Vol. 20 (3)

       to the company press release, cavitation in
       fluids provides superior mixing and may
       significantly accelerate rates of chemi-
       cal reactions and processes. The company
       claims its process can accept vegetable oils
       containing less than 4.5% free fatty acids
       and increase the velocity of the continuous
       flow esterification reaction and the quality
       of the resultant biodiesel. Sodium methy-
       late is the catalyst used, and the reaction
       can take place at ambient pressures and
       a low temperature (60°C). Operating and
       maintenance costs are low, according to the

       Valcent lays off
       half its staff                                      Airlines test aviation biofuel
       Valcent Products Inc. (El Paso, Texas,
                                                           On January 8, 2009, Continental Airlines became the first North American airline
       USA) has been developing a vertical growth
       system for algae intended to serve as feed-         to test biofuels in one of its planes. One of its Boeing 737 airliners took off from
       stock for biodiesel (see inform 19:432–             Houston, Texas, operating one engine on a B50 (50% biodiesel, 50% Jet A) blend
       437, 2008). In mid-January, 19 people,              during a two-hour flight. UOP LLC (Des Plaines, Illinois, USA) created the biofuel
       or about half of the company’s staff, were          for the flight, comprising 94% jatropha oil, provided by Terasol Energy (Texas, USA),
       laid off as part of cost-cutting and restruc-       and 6% algae oil, supplied by Sapphire Energy (San Diego, California, USA). Prelimi-
       turing. The El Paso Times quoted Gerry              nary data indicated the engine performed as predicted. No problems were encoun-
       Jardine, a member of the board of direc-            tered during the flight.
       tors, as saying, “The general economic                   UOP anticipates licensing its fuel technology by mid-2009, according to Biofuels
       downturn has affected us like a lot of other        Digest.
       companies, and we had to make some hard                  On January 30, Japan Airlines also tested a biofuel blend (50% traditional Jet A fuel,
       choices.” He added, “We are not shutting            50% biofuel) in a Boeing 747-300 aircraft powered by a Pratt & Whitney engine; 84%
       down the company.” No executive changes             of the biofuel came from camelina seed oil, under 16% from jatropha oil, and under
       were made.                                          1% from algal oil. Camelina was selected because the plant can grow in dry areas and
                                                           at high latitudes; these characteristics make the plant less competitive with food crops

       German biodiesel                                    and thus more sustainable. Sustainable Oils Inc. (Bozeman, Montana, USA) provided
                                                           the camelina fuel, Terasol Energy the jatropha oil, and Sapphire Energy the algae oil.
       plants face closure
       Johannes Lackmann, chief executive of
       VDB (Verband der Deutschen Biokraft-            original increase was to be 6 eurocents per         Although passage of these changes
       stoffindustrie), the lobbying association       liter on January 1, 2009. However, in late     by the German parliament was expected,
       for German biofuel producers, told news         2008 the government yielded to industry        with backdating to January 1, Lackmann
       agency Reuters that the government’s deci-      protests that this increase was making bio-    told Reuters the uncertainty was contrib-
       sion to raise taxes on green fuels and to       fuels too expensive in comparison with         uting to declines in the German green fuel
       scale back a mandated increase in biofuel       fossil fuels and cut the increase to 3 euro-   industry.
       blending with fossil fuels would force          cents. As of January 19, the change had
       closure of some of the country’s biodie-
       sel plants in 2009, particularly small- and
                                                       still not become law, leaving the question
                                                       in limbo.                                      Biodiesel tested in
       medium-sized ones. He anticipated that
       increased taxes, which were to have taken
                                                             The government also cut the mandated
                                                       biofuel percentage, originally set for 6.25%   Atlas rocket engine
       effect January 1, would reduce demand for       for 2009, to 5.25% in October 2008. The        In late January announcement was made
       the fuel in Germany, and predicted that         VDB estimated this change would reduce         that biodiesel had been used to power a
       larger plants would be able to export their     biodiesel demand for 2009 by 600,000           Rocketdyne LR-101 engine. This engine
       product to the European Union and eastern       tons—equivalent to the output from six         had originally been designed for use on the
       Europe.                                         biodiesel plants. However, this change too     General Dynamics/Convair Atlas missile.
            There was uncertainty as to when the       had not been implemented by mid-January,       Liquid oxygen and B100 (i.e., 100% bio-
       tax increase would actually take effect. The    leaving blending levels unclear.               diesel) were compared with US Air Force-

MAR 09 INFORM.indd 152                                                                                                                     3/17/09 3:11:06 PM
         inform March 2009, Vol. 20 (3)                 153

       supplied RP-1 grade kerosene. Based on a
       6-second burn, B100 produced 820 lb (3.64       Corn oil biodiesel                                                                                 
To top