IIT Jodhpur develops bio-jet fuel from waste biomass for aviation industry

IIT Jodhpur developed an iron-based catalyst, reusable and effective for up to 10 test cycles.

IIT Jodhpur develops bio-jet fuel from waste biomass (Image Source: Official Website)IIT Jodhpur develops bio-jet fuel from waste biomass (Image Source: Official Website)

Tanuja Joshi | July 7, 2023 | 06:24 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur researchers have developed a bio-jet fuel from waste biomass and non-edible oils making the bio-jet fuel manufacturing process cost-effective.

The research was carried out under Rakesh K Sharma, professor in the department of chemistry at IIT Jodhpur and his PhD scholar Bhagirath Saini. The professor said that the research will be useful for the aviation industry and help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The team has developed an iron-based catalyst known as Fe/Silica-Alumina, which will convert the waste biomass into bio-jet fuel. The catalyst is reusable and effective for up to 10 test cycles.

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The research shows that the catalyst exhibits high acidity and has unique textural properties, allowing for the production of bio-jet fuel under relatively mild reaction conditions, such as low hydrogen pressure and solvent-free conditions.

The global aviation sector has a daily fuel demand of more than 800 million liters and depends on petroleum-based fuels which has impacted the environment.

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The research is supported by the Department of Biotechnology's DBT PAN-IIT Center for Bioenergy Research. The findings of the research have been published on the cover page of the Sustainable Energy & Fuels journal, a publication by the Royal Society of Chemistry, London.

Rakesh K Sharma, professor, department of Chemistry, IIT Jodhpur, said, “What is really impressive about our work is the unprecedented bio jet fuel selectivity from biomass using earth-abundant reusable heterogeneous iron catalyst under mild conditions. The process shows not only increased efficiency but also decreased emissions of greenhouse gases in airline sector.”

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