University of Calgary attempting to make fuel from sawdust

Fueling your vehicle with sawdust is absurd. However, pumping your tank full of fuel made from sawdust, now that's a far-fetched idea that could eventually become a reality.

Thanks to the work of a team of researchers at the University of Calgary, sawdust-derived fuel could power the vehicles of the future. For the past three years, the team, headed by Dr. Nader Mahinpey, has been working on ways to convert organic waste into biofuel. The team is concentrating on thermochemical conversion technologies to extract oil from waste.

In the past, most biofuels have relied on edible plants, such as sugar cane or corn, and have been associated with a host of problems, including food shortages and spikes in prices. Generally speaking, using waste products for biofuels is seen as less problematic than relying on edible crops. At least, that's the reasoning behind the University of Calgary's push to develop fuel from sawdust.

Thus far, the bio-oil that Mahinpey's team has extracted is not useable as an automotive fuel source. However, Mahinpey is confident that sawdust-based fuel will eventually be used in the transportation industry.

[Source: | Image: BarelyFitz – C.C. License 2.0]

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