Gasoline-like fuels can be made from cellulosic materials such as farm and forestry waste using a new process invented by chemists at the University of California, Davis. Researchers say the process could open up new markets for plant-based fuels, beyond existing diesel substitutes.
"What's exciting is that there are lots of processes to make linear hydrocarbons, but until now nobody has been able to make branched hydrocarbons with volatility in the gasoline range," said Mark Mascal, professor of chemistry at UC Davis and lead author on the paper published Jan. 29 in an international journal published by the German Chemical Society.The UC Davis researchers say traditional diesel fuel is made up of long, straight chains of carbon atoms, while the molecules that make up gasoline are shorter and branched. That means gasoline and diesel evaporate at different temperatures and pressures, reflected in the different design of diesel and gasoline engines.
Source: UC Davis