mexican student seeks to turn water hyacinth into bioethanol
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Mexican student seeks to turn water hyacinth into bioethanol

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Arab Today, arab today Mexican student seeks to turn water hyacinth into bioethanol

Tonalli Galicia, Mexican engineering student
Mexico City - XINHUA

A Mexican engineering student has developed a formula to turn the water hyacinth plant into bioethanol and will see his project presented to the 2016 Nobel prize-winners in Stockholm in December.

José Alberto Espejel, a student of environmental engineering at La Salle University, said that he developed the formula since waterways in Mexico City are clogged with this plant.

"The project came up a year ago with the purpose of turning the water hyacinth into something useful," Espejel told Xinhua. "The water hyacinth acts as a natural filter of pollutants. However, it can become a plague as has happened in the canals of Xochimilco."

The canals are one of Mexico City's most famous tourist attractions, with long, colorful boats sailing them daily.

"There have been many proposals to deal with the hyacinth plague and claim back the waters of Xochimilco...with the goal of doing something useful," he pointed out.

Espejel explained that many proposals sought to turn the plant into biodegradable plastic but he focused on a different route. He decided on a process to make bioethanol in a similar way that is currently used with maize or sugarcane.

According to the engineer, Brazil has used bio-ethanol as an additive for gasoline since the 1970s while 10 percent of its cars run purely on bioethanol.

"We seek to repeat what happened in Brazil, first to use it as an additive and then, with a larger investment, expand this culture of using biofuels," said Espejel.

Another advantage of Espejel's technique is that it is cost-effective. "We have the water hyacinth there for free and we will provide it at a beneficial cost in the future."

Source : XINHUA

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