New ‘Wet’ Farm Waste to Biofuel Breakthrough

Researchers at the Bio-Renewable Innovation Lab (BRIL) at the University of Guelph have come up with an economical way to create biofuel from wet farm waste via a new pressure cooking method to create transportable pellets that can be used in power plants. That solves a significant problem for wet and green farm waste, such as corn husks, tomato vines and manure, which is typically difficult to reuse, as it breaks down quickly. The new process also reduces its alkali and alkaline earth metals and should help farmers make money from their waste.

Large pressure cookers located near farms could accept and cook waste for transport to energy plants, say the researchers, who are working with industry partners to commercialize the technology.

The research was led by engineering professor Animesh Dutta, director of the Bio-Renewable Innovation Lab (BRIL) at U of G. Dutta said the research, which is published this week in the journal Applied Energy, shows that in a lab setting biofuels can produce the same amount of energy as coal.

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