Queen’s Researcher Turning Dirty Tinfoil into Biofuel Catalyst
(Queen’s University Belfast) A researcher at Queen’s University Belfast has discovered a way to convert dirty aluminium foil into a biofuel catalyst, which could help to solve global waste and energy problems.
In the UK, around 20,000 tonnes of aluminium foil packaging is wasted each year – enough to stretch to the moon and back. Most of this is landfilled or incinerated as it’s usually contaminated by grease and oils, which can damage recycling equipment.
However, Ahmed Osman, an Early Career Researcher from Queen’s University’s School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, has worked with engineers at the university to create an innovative crystallisation method, which obtains 100% pure single crystals of aluminium salts from the contaminated foil. This is the starting material for the preparation of alumina catalyst.
Osman, who took on the project under the University’s Sustainable Energy, Pioneering Research Programme, has created a solution which is much more environmentally-friendly, effective and cheaper than the commercial catalyst which is currently available on the market for the production of dimethyl ether – a biofuel which is regarded as the most promising of the 21st century. READ MORE Abstract (Nature Scientific Reports)