New Method Found to Turn Sawdust into Petrol

  • Researchers have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for petrol.
  • Scientists at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium used a new chemical process to convert the cellulose in sawdust into hydrocarbon chains.
  • These hydrocarbons can be used as an additive in gasoline, or as a component in plastics
  • Cellulose is the main substance in plant matter and is present in all non-edible plant parts of wood, straw, grass, cotton and old paper.
  • Professor Bert Sels said:At the molecular level, cellulose contains strong carbon chains.We sought to conserve these chains, but drop the oxygen bonded to them, which is undesirable in high-grade gasoline.
  • The new method to derive these hydrocarbon chains from cellulose was developed by researcher Beau Op de Beeck.