May 29, 2024

Biofuels Could Potentially Reduce Black Smoke Emissions from Cars by over 90%

A recent international study, conducted by the University of Malaga (UMA) in collaboration with the Future Power Systems Group at the University of Birmingham, has explored the use of biofuels as a means to reduce pollutant emissions from vehicles without compromising engine performance. The study specifically examined the use of oxygenated biofuels blended with diesel in a concentration of 20% by volume. The results showed a reduction in the production of black smoke, or soot, emitted by cars by more than 90%. The findings of this study have been published in the journal Fuel.

The biofuels studied included bioalcohols like butanol, pentanol, and cyclopentanol, as well as bioketones such as cyclopentanone. The experiments were conducted at the university’s Central Research Support Services using High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HR-TEM). These biofuels have the advantage of being produced from waste derived from residual biomass, such as waste oils, algae, agricultural and forestry residues, or sewage, and have a low carbon content.

“Our research shows that the biofuels we studied, which we produced in the laboratory, not only produce very little soot but also behave similarly to the fuel available at any gas station, meaning no changes would be necessary for it to function normally,” explains Professor Martos. This discovery paves the way for reducing soot emissions from thermal engines, thereby addressing related environmental and public health concerns.

Soot particles emitted by engines are released into the atmosphere and remain suspended in the air, contributing to climate change by increasing the greenhouse effect. They also pose a risk to public health, as they can easily be inhaled by living beings. “This research offers the possibility of using non-petroleum fuels that have the potential to reduce vehicle emissions. The long-term goal of our international scientific team, which already has agreements with some brands, is to achieve commercialization of these biofuels,” adds Professor Martos.

The findings of this study represent a significant step forward in the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly fuels. By reducing black smoke emissions from vehicles, these biofuels have the potential to mitigate the impact of transportation on climate change and improve local air quality. Further research and collaboration with industry partners will be crucial in realizing the widespread adoption of these biofuels and achieving a greener future for transportation.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it