Spherical Superhydrophobic Activated Carbon Catalyst

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Spherical Superhydrophobic Activated Carbon Catalyst

Source-This post on Spherical Superhydrophobic Activated Carbon Catalyst has been created based on the article “Scientists from India, China, U.K. develop catalyst to produce cheaper biodiesel” published in “The Hindu” on 19 June 2024.

Why in the news?

A team of scientists from Assam and Odisha in India, China, and the U.K. has developed a cost-effective, water-repellent catalyst for producing environmentally friendly biodiesel.

About Spherical Superhydrophobic Activated Carbon Catalyst

i) The new catalyst, known as the “spherical superhydrophobic activated carbon catalyst,” has been designed to withstand water byproducts during biodiesel production.

ii) These catalysts mimic the water-repelling properties of natural surfaces like lotus leaves, preventing the poisoning of active sites by water, a common byproduct in biodiesel production.

Advantages of the New Catalyst

i) The novel catalyst is highly robust and can withstand water byproducts, maintaining its effectiveness and reusability, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing costs. It is derived from biomass (cellulose), the catalyst is ecologically benign, abundant, and highly affordable.

ii) Current biodiesel costs in India are about ₹100 ($1.2) per litre. The new catalyst can reduce this cost to approximately 37 cents per litre. In comparison, less fuel-efficient diesel costs at least ₹87 per litre in India.

iii) Potential for Sustainable Energy: Biodiesel is crucial for sustainable energy. The innovative catalyst could significantly enhance the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental friendliness of biodiesel production. This breakthrough could lead to broader adoption of biodiesel and contribute to a greener future.

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