The Holy Grail of biodiesel?

This could be it: Insta-biodiesel! A biodiesel microreactor that eliminates the separation time and potentially the need for a dissolved catalyst. Veg-oil and Methanol go in, and biodiesel comes out the other side. No mixing, no heating, no separation and no KOH (or NaOH):

“This could be as important an invention as the mouse for your PC,” said Goran Jovanovic, the OSU professor who developed the biodiesel microreactor. “If we’re successful with this, nobody will ever make biodiesel any other way.”
“Most people think large-scale, central production of energy is cheaper, because we’ve been raised with that paradigm. But distributed energy production means you can use local resources – farmers can produce all the energy they need from what they grow on their own farms.”

The microreactor, being developed in association with the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), consists of a series of parallel channels, each smaller than a human hair, through which vegetable oil and alcohol are pumped simultaneously. At such a small scale the chemical reaction that converts the oil into biodiesel is almost instant.

Although the amount of biodiesel produced from a single microreactor is a trickle, the reactors can be connected and stacked in banks to dramatically increase production.
Tiny Microreactor For Biodiesel Production Could Aid Farmers, Nation, by Gregg Kleiner, OSU.

If they make this work, I’ll buy this guy a beer!

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