“Greener” gasoline

Aug. 21, 2003
Researchers at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) have developed a safer way to produce isooctane, the eight-carbon chain more commonly known as the octane number on a gas pump.

“Greener” gasoline

The method substitutes a solid-acid catalyst for a liquid one. The solid-acid is a component of manmade pellets called zeolite catalysts. Using this substance reduces the chance of the environment being harmed by a concentrated acid.

While the catalyst works well, over time its surface gums up with unwanted byproducts. A supercritical fluid can restore the catalyst activity, but more research is necessary before the method is put into action.

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