From Food to Fuel

Biodiesel is just two steps away.

With petroleum, coal and natural gas getting scarcer and scarcer by the minute, humanity has to look in other directions. Non-renewable resources have been on the wane and so the answer to the energy crisis lies closer to home. The conversion of vegetable oils and waste fats into biodiesel was until now only something to be seen on the drawing board. The reason for this was that the processes involved in the conversion required pure oils thereby negating any financial advantage.

But now that is no more. Rehman Talukder and his co-associates at the A*Star Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences have ingeniously invented a catalytic process that works no matter what type of oil is used: refined or unrefined. The two steps consist of hydrolyzing the oil and then forcing it to react with methanol thereby producing biodiesel. The inventor intends to make the process cheaper so that it could have commercial implications.

If finalized this miracle in chemistry can revolutionize how we think about energy. Instead of fossil fuels, biodiesel from ordinary vegetable oils can serve mankind in its progress towards the future.