Nuclear-driven production of renewable fuel additives from waste organics
Non-intermittent, low-carbon energy from nuclear or biofuels is integral to many strategies to achieve Carbon Budget Reduction targets. However, nuclear plants have high, upfront costs and biodiesel manufacture produces waste glycerol with few secondary uses. Combining these technologies, to precipitate valuable feedstocks from waste glycerol using ionizing radiation, could diversify nuclear energy use whilst valorizing biodiesel waste. We demonstrated solketal and acetol production is enhanced in selected aqueous glycerol-acetone mixtures with γ radiation. The samples were irradiated in the Jožef Stefan TRIGA research reactor during the shutdown stage. This allowed us to expose chemicals to gamma radiation only which originates from irradiated fuel. Nuclear-driven, biomass-derived solketal could contribute towards net-zero emissions targets, combining low-carbon co-generation and co-production.
Jožef Stefan Institute