— There is no room for error when researchers create biofuels. For
instance, no one would forgive the University of Kansas engineers,
chemists and biologists manufacturing the new fuels if their products
clogged up car engines when the temperature in Kansas falls to 4
degrees in January.
That is why biofuels — fuels made from
renewable sources such as plant materials — must be tested rigorously,
said Susan Williams, professor of chemical and petroleum engineering
and director of KU’s Biodiesel Initiative.
“I can make a
great fuel that’s inexpensive to produce, but if it doesn’t perform in
your engine it won’t work,” Williams said. “We don’t have the luxury of
mistakes. If you try to get people to switch and there are problems
with their cars, your whole research effort will be for nothing.”
will lead a discussion about KU’s efforts to create sustainable
biofuels at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, at the Natural History Museum.
The event is free and open to the public.
Her talk, “KU’s
Biodiesel Initiative: Alternative Fuel for the Future,” is part of the
museum’s monthly Wild Science series. Held the first Wednesday of each
month, the series offers a chance for the public to ask questions
directly to researchers in an informal setting. Coffee, hot chocolate
and cookies will be served.
, Natural History Museum, (785) 864-2344.