Pyrolysis Oil Problem Statement
Pyrolysis oil is arguably the world's leading candidate as a liquid fuel source for the future of humanity. See the Charcoal Vision. (Dead Link)
One possible candidate for fuel technology of a sustainable future is the biofuel known as Pyrolysis Oil.
Take wood, heat it in the absence of oxygen, and a brew of gases and liquids comes off. Condense the liquids - and you have pyrolysis oil. You can do this in a test tube. You can do this on a larger scale to make biofuel for your cars. This is a much more efficient route to producing biodiesel - as opposed to vegetable-oil derived biodiesel.
From a Decent perspective, this makes sense in that unrefined oil, with up to 50% yields from biomass - could be a direct fuel for external combustion technologies like the steam engine. The steam engine caused the industrial revolution, and it also has a present potential of being part of a stable and advanced civilization.
Pyrolysis oil is proven technology. Researching the work of existing pyrolysis oil groups at universities could be a quick path to the design and build of an experimental pyrolysis oil reactor.
This makes for an easily doable student research project.
We're willing to serve as advisors and funders of such a student project. Please contact Marcin at opensourceecology at gmail dot com if you are interested. See Marcin Biography.