Spent tea aids production of bio-diesel
A Pakistani scientist has successfully invented a nano catalyst for production of bio-diesel with the help of spent tea for the first time in the world, opening up new avenues for alternative environment-friendly energy resources.
Dr. Syed Tajamul Hussain, a nano scientist working at National Centre for Physics (NCP), and his research team members after untiring efforts during last one year proved with their laboratory tests that used tea can be utilised to produce bio-diesel almost free of carbon emission on commercial basis. The results of their research is going to be published in world reputed Journal of Bio-Technology in its January 2010 issue.
According to the data bio-diesel generally refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl (methyl propyl) or ethyl esters. Bio-diesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids (e.g. vegetable oil, animal fat with an alcohol. Bio-diesel is meant to be used in standard diesel engines and is thus distinct from the vegetable and waste oils to fuel converted diesel engines. Bio-diesel can be used alone, or blended with petro-diesel.
In an interview with ‘The News’ Syed Tajamul Hussain said Pakistan is the third largest importer of tea after UK and China as it is spending $8.8 million annually for import of tea.
“The nano particles help produce 560 ml of bio-diesel from one kilogramme of used tea and if the process is carried out on commercial basis it can be a giant step towards production of alternative energy resources in the country,” he said. He said there is a global ban on production of bio-diesel with the use of edible products so they started research work on spent tea and finally they succeeded in their endeavours to use this non-edible product to prepare bio-diesel.
Tajamul Hussain said the newly invented technology can be used on commercial basis after establishment of pilot plant at the initial stage to get first hand practical experience at comparatively low capital. He said emission of carbon has become one of the grave concerns in the modern world so they tried their best to invent any new process that ensures production of bio-diesel without any chance of carbon emission.
Tajamul said if the environment ministry or any other government department extended its financial support then the plan to produce bio-diesel with the use of spent tea could be translated into reality. “The chances are also ripe for the private sector because the project would not only provide profit, but also enable the investors to claim prize money given for those projects that help reduce production of Carbon dioxide (CO2),” he said. He said petrol and diesel are produced with small and big molecules respectively and bio-diesel also falls in the category of those products that utilises big petroleum molecules.
Tajamul said the research work also showed that spent tea can also be used for production of alcohol that is quite new because spent coffee had been widely used for the purpose, but no one tried to utilise used tea even in the countries like UK and USA where tea users are in large number.
Source: The News /...
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