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September 15, 2020 Tuesday 12:40:12 PM IST

Boron for Efficient Synthetic Oil

Science Innovations

Synthetic oil production can become more efficient if a reagent consisting of the element boron is used instead of heavy metals such as iron or cobalt. Synthetic oils such as engine lubricant or jet fuel are made from carbon oxides and hydrogen which requires heavy metals and operation at high temperatures. On the other hand boron is extracted from a certain kind of ore and works at room temperature.  The currently used Fischer-Tropsch process was developed in Germany a century ago.  Heavy metals are used to mediate the reaction requiring high-pressure environments and temperatures above 200 degrees celsius consuming huge quantities of energy.