Creation of biodiesel, ethanol and other biofuels has not come without criticism. One of the criticisms of making biodiesel fuel has been what to do with the byproduct glycerol that is produced in massive amounts.
Researchers at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN have come up with a unique solution which is to convert the glycerol to hydrogen, thus fueling two types of alternative fuel vehicles using one feedstock.
According to the researchers, “Dr. Sergi Markov, associate professor of biology at Austin Peay State University, has an idea that could help push the alternative fuel race to new levels of possibility. For the last several years, Markov and two of his APSU students – Jared Averitt and Barbara Waldron – have studied the effects of the bacterium Enterobacter aerogenes on glycerol. Turns out, the bacteria converts the liquid into another biofuel, molecular hydrogen.”
This finding not only makes biodiesel suddenly a more attractive fuel but it also makes cheap hydrogen available for cars as well. Fuel manufacturers will suddenly get twice the bang for their bucks with very little effort. And cheap fuel for consumers will mean quicker public acceptance of alternative fuel vehicles for home use.