Plasma could see biodiesel application

By Nicholas Zeman | March 23, 2010
Posted March 24, 2010

The American Chemical Society's annual meeting taking place in San Francisco publicized a presentation, made by Albin Czernichowski, which detailed using the processes at work in big-screen plasma televisions to make diesel fuel. The GlidArc reactor, designed by Czernichowski, is named for the gliding arc of electricity that produces plasma inside the reactor. The plasma allows for conversions at reduced temperatures, taking gases from heated biomass that become clean and chemically active to produce clean fuels.

"Low-tech and low cost are the guiding principles behind the GlidArc reactors," said Czernichowski. "Almost all the parts could be bought at your local hardware or home supply store. We use common 'plumber' piping and connections, for instance, and ordinary home insulation. Instead of sophisticated ceramics, we use the kind of heat-resistant concrete that might go into a home fireplace. You could build one in a few days for about $10,000."

Czernichowski said glycerin coproduct from biodiesel processing, which can be expensive to refine, would be a suitable candidate feedstock for syngas-to-biofuels production.
 
 
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