Fuels

Environment
10:48 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Catalyst may lead to more ethanol options

The right balance of zinc and zirconium oxides in this catalyst (purple block) converts ethanol to isobutene with low amounts of unwanted byproducts such as acetone and ethylene.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Ethanol may soon have more uses than just as a fuel additive. Researchers have accidentally discovered an easier, more environmentally friendly biofuel catalyst.

Researchers hope a new catalyst called isobutene will lead to more ways to use ethanol –- from making rubber to solvents to aviation fuel.

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