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Chilean Scientists Produce Biodiesel From Microalgae which can Power Vehicles

"What is new about our process is the intent to produce this fuel from microalgae, which are microorganisms," researcher Carlos Saez told Reuters

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biodiesel from microalgae
A biochemist shows different types of microalgae for the study and manufacture of a biofuel in high displacement diesel engines for reducing emissions of gases and particulate matter in Santiago, Chile. VOA
  • Experts from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses at Chile’s Catholic University said they had grown enough algae to fragment it and extract the oil which can be converted into biofuel.
  • Most of the world’s biodiesel, which reduces dependence on petroleum, is derived from soybean oil
  • The main challenge going forward would be to produce a sufficient volume of microalgae

Santiago, July 1, 2017: Biodiesel made from microalgae could power buses and trucks and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent, Chilean scientists said, possibly curbing pollution in contaminated cities like Santiago.

Experts from the department of Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses at Chile’s Catholic University said they had grown enough algae to fragment it and extract the oil which, after removing moisture and debris, can be converted into biofuel.

“What is new about our process is the intent to produce this fuel from microalgae, which are microorganisms,” researcher Carlos Saez told Reuters.

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Most of the world’s biodiesel, which reduces dependence on petroleum, is derived from soybean oil. It can also be made from animal fat, canola or palm oil.

Saez said a main challenge going forward would be to produce a sufficient volume of microalgae. A wide variety of fresh and salt water algaes are found in Chile, a South American nation with a long Pacific coast.

The scientists are trying to improve algae growing technology to ramp up production at a low cost using limited energy, Saez said. (VOA)

Next Story

Chile Survives Through Major Quake With Little Damage

Chile is located along the so-called Ring of Fire, which makes it one of the most seismic countries in the world.

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Boats lifted by an earthquake-triggered tsunami sit on a dock, in Coquimbo, Chile, Sept. 18, 2015. A magnitude 6.7 quake struck the city Jan. 19, 2018, but no tsunami was generated. VOA

A 6.7-magnitude earthquake has shaken cities on Chile’s northern coast. No damages have been reported so far, but Chile’s National Emergency Office ordered a preventative evacuation of a stretch of coast near the city of Coquimbo.

Chilean authorities said the quake didn’t have the characteristics that would generate a tsunami. The U.S. Tsunami Warning System also ruled out a tsunami.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the magnitude-6.7 quake was 15.6 kilometers (9.7 miles) south-southwest of Coquimbo, and had a depth of 53 kilometers. It struck at 7:32 p.m. local time.

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Earthquake epicenter

A witness told Reuters there was minor damage to older buildings and power outages in the nearby coastal city of La Serena, a popular beach town about 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Santiago.

“It felt very strong … the tourists were very nervous, but nothing serious happened,” Camila Castillo, a receptionist at a hotel in La Serena, told Reuters.

Chilean miner Antofagasta Plc said operations were normal at its Los Pelambres copper mine following the nearby earthquake.

Also Read: Amazon.com In Talks With Chile To Create A Ground For Developing Artificial Intelligence

Chile is located along the so-called Ring of Fire, which makes it one of the most seismic countries in the world.Chile is located along the so-called Ring of Fire, which makes it one of the most seismic countries in the world. An 8.8-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami in 2010 killed 525 people. (VOA)