Sisymbrium irio helps produce biofuel

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Researchers in Islamic Azad University has succeeded in producing bio-diesel fuel from Sisymbrium irio, a newly emerging plant in bio-diesel fuel production.

Seyed Mehdi Alemi, an Analytical Chemistry graduate told Mehr News that biodiesel had gained popularity in academia as an alternative for highly environment polluting fossil fuels, and for cutting dependence on finite reservoirs; “the International Energy Agency predicts the growth rate of biodiesels as 7 per cent per annum; that is, by 2030, biodiesel will constitute 5 per cent of the fuel consumed in transportation; the US has been a pioneering country in using biodiesel and will contribute to this trend significantly,” Alemi told Mehr News Science and Technology correspondent.

“In 2006, biodiesel demand rate had 20 per cent growth; it is predicted that between 2011 and 2016, it will have a constant pace of growth of 21.5 per cent; it is highly growing in Europe, which is mainly for higher subsidies and other incentive packages European governments offer; EU produces more than 90 per cent of the biodiesel, and they project to receive a high demand for biofuel by next decade, “Alemi said.

“The EU has mandated its member states to use biodiesel in about 10 per cent of the total fuel in transportation; with this in mind, we embarked on a project to work on the biodiesel crop Sisymbrium irio to produce biodiesel,” said the project manager, “in vitro, the oil from the plant was ground and using a solvent, dichloromethane was produced,” he added.

“Given that the plant is native to Iran and the ease of growing it in different climates especially arid and hot regions, and the fact that it is not a major food source for humans, we opted for this plant as a candidate for biodiesel production,” Alemi argued. “The biodiesel is less pollutant compared to normal diesels; the biodiesel produces exhaust gases with little soot and aroma; it also helps the engines to function more smoothly,” he told Mehr News.

“Biodiesel also reduces the corrosion of the fuel system in vehicles; the sulfur content of the biodiesel is maximum 10ppm which is very much less pollutant than the commonly used gas oils (5,000ppm of sulfur),” he asserted.

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