Petroleum-based fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, are non-renewable fuels, which means that sometime in the future they may become completely unavailable. An alternative to overcome this problem is to invest in renewable sourced fuels, for instance biodiesel.
Biodiesel can be produced from oils we regularly found in grocery stores, like canola, palm, or vegetable oils, and would represent a way to convert a waste into a more valuable product. An important component in biodiesel production is the catalyst, the material required to make the chemical reaction faster.
Students in Professor Alex Pinto's lab will have the opportunity to learn how to prepare and test this catalyst for the production of biodiesel from different types of oils.