Chemistry engineers develop ecological gasoline additives

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Researchers from the pulpit development of chemical processes of the University of Dortmund (North Rhineland - Westphalia), currently developing an alternative fuel additive intended by them has a bright future: BBTG (Glycerine-ter-butyl-ether) . This additive is formed from glycerine and is more advantageous compared to other additives an ecological point of view.

Since the prohibition of the use of lead additives in gasoline in Germany using MTBE (Methyl-tert-butyl-ether). This ensures a high IOR Research Octane Number (RON - Research Octan Number) in gasoline and does not damage the engine. However, its use is not entirely harmless, and it is partly banned in the US due to its high solubility in water (MTBE can easily seep into the groundwater). "MTBE is certainly not toxic" says Mr. Arno Behr from the University of Dortmund, "but he has a taste and a very unpleasant odor which we obviously do not want to find in drinking water" . In this regard, Mr. Behr and colleagues have long been working in an alternative additive: the BBTG. This is a satisfactory substitute for MTBE, it also presents a high Research Octane Number and also ensures long engine life.

In addition, the additive basic glycerine present before any environmental benefits: the BBTG is not soluble in water and is more ecological than traditional MTBE. It is also an interesting alternative for the price at the fuel industry: glycerin
For the moment certainly more expensive than methanol, but Mr. Behr prognostic in the coming years a massive drop in prices due to a massive presence on the world market. Indeed, due to european directives advocating an increase in diesel production at 2010 by rape, production of glycerine - recovery of product from diesel to rape - then go up to 700.000 or 800.000 tonnes per year in Europe. "There is no application to this quantity of glycerine" says Behr. Glycerine as an additive in fuel and would solve three problems at once: it is ecological, available in large quantities as the recovery of diesel to rapeseed, and thus ultimately inexpensive.

Team Mr. Behr has developed a technical process that can produce BBTG in a strong circulatory system without residues. But the use of glycerine will not happen as quickly as we might wish, "the passage of MTBE in BBTG represents considerable investment and depends above all decisions of major petroleum groups" Behr says finally, "but the ecological impact is all the same an important argument. "

contacts:
- Teacher. Dr. Arno Behr -tel: + 49 231 755 2310, Fax: + 49 231 755 2311 -
e
behr@bci.uni-dortmund.de
Sources: Depeche IDW, Press release of the University of Dortmund,
15 / 02 / 2005
Editor: Nicolas Condette,
nicolas.condette@diplomatie.gouv.fr

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