Egyptian Researchers Seek to Reduce Aircraft Pollution

Egyptian Researchers Seek to Reduce Aircraft Pollution
  1. Egyptian Researchers Seek to Reduce Aircraft Pollution
    Egyptian scientists are trying to produce biofuel for aircrafts that would reduce the carbon dioxide they produce and lower the country’s pollution burden. The post Egyptian Researchers Seek to Reduce Aircraft Pollution appeared first on Al-Fanar M…
    Education & Family

ASSIUT – Egyptian research teams are trying to find ways to create biofuels that would release less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels when burned, to cut down on pollution in a country ranked third in pollution rates worldwide.

Researchers at the National Research Center’s Department of Chemical Engineering, for example, have managed to produce a biofuel sturdy enough for aircraft by recycling cooking oils and combining them with the oil of Jatropha seeds, a plant watered by sewage in the desert.

“We have been working on this project to produce biofuel for aircraft for three years,” said Guzine El-Diwani, the head of the Center’s Chemical Engineering Department and the head of the biodiesel production team. “This year, we have achieved good results by recycling edible oils, algae, palm oil, and Jatropha plants.” She said several experiments had indicated the research might have practical implications.

Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation would like to promote the use of domestic biofuel that can be used for aircraft to comply with international agreements to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Those agreements state that the petroleum component of aircraft kerosene should be reduced by 3 to 5 percent by 2020 and replaced by biofuels. Meanwhile, the cost of air pollution to Egypt’s economy has almost doubled in nearly 25 years, going up to $17 billion a year, a sum equivalent to 3.58 percent of the country’s GDP according to a 2016 report on the cost of air pollution on the international economy issued by The World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The proportion of domestic air pollution in Egypt decreased by nearly 95 percent in 2013 compared to 1990. In 2013, an estimated 39,118 Egyptians died of air pollution. While that number is down from earlier years, the amount of air pollution was still three-and-a-half times higher than World Health Organization standards. Air pollution is ranked fourth among the world’s leading causes of death after hypertension, smoking, and food quality hazards, with the aviation industry accounting for 12 percent of the total carbon emissions produced by transportation internationally, according to a report by the Air Transport Services Group in 2011. The proportion of pollution produced by aircraft is on the rise, as air traffic increases.

The National Research Center’s efforts are based on transforming natural oils so they have characteristics close to that of the kerosene used as fuel for airplanes in terms of combustion, viscosity, volatilization, flash point, and freezing point. The produced biofuels should resist freezing at temperatures up to minus 50 degrees Celsius (-122 Fahrenheit) to be suitable for aircraft engines. Lowering the freezing point of the natural oils is the biggest challenge the Research Center’s team managed to solve.

“The team has been able to produce biofuel that would not freeze at up to 70 degrees below zero, through a process known as ‘hydro tracking,’” said El-Diwani.

The National Research Center began its experiments to produce biofuel from the Jatropha plant as an alternative to conventional fuel a decade ago, according to Kamel El-Khatib, a researcher at the center and a team member of the project. “Egypt has succeeded in cultivating 420,000 square meters of Jatropha in Luxor province to the south of Cairo,” he said. “The seeds of this plant have been harvested, and the oil was extracted from them in different ways.” He pointed out that as much as 25 percent of this oil can be suitably converted into bio-fuel for cars through a straightforward chemical process using organic solvents such as hexane, a chemical commonly used in food production.

El-Diwani didn’t want to estimate the cost of producing the new …

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