The Bontrons membrane transport chain has been the focus of much attention this week after a new study from Stanford University found that it is far more efficient than conventional transportation, and more resilient to wear and tear.
“We are seeing the membrane transport system’s value to society and the environment in the Bontron network,” said lead author James Bouchards, professor of engineering and director of the Stanford NanoEngineering Center.
“It is a technology that has proven to be both environmentally and economically attractive, and it will likely remain so.”
The study looked at the effectiveness of the Boucharn Membranes, or Bontronices, a membrane transport network that has been a cornerstone of the biofuel industry for more than 30 years.
Boucharts research team, which included Stanford graduate students Jonathan Sperling and Michael Wittenberg, compared the effectiveness and durability of the membranes used in the industry, which were manufactured by Bontronics in the United States.
They compared them to standard membrane transport lines that run through a variety of plants, and the results were striking.
“The Bontrols have been the standard membrane transportation system in the biofuels industry for a long time, but they were not engineered for a large range of applications,” said Bouchar’s co-author, professor Robert Mather.
“They are great for the bioenergy industry because they are inexpensive to manufacture, are easy to handle and are reliable, which are all good attributes when you have a membrane system.
The Bons were also designed to be scalable, as well.
They were engineered to handle any number of applications, and there are a number of different applications where they are used to transport various things, including organic materials, fuel, chemicals and so on.”
The Boussons study found that the Bons are less likely to wear out than standard transport lines and are also much more durable than conventional transport lines.
The researchers used the Bonded Membranets that are commonly used in Bontross membranes, which also are designed to withstand high temperatures.
“This is the first time we have really looked at how these membrane transport systems perform in a real-world situation,” said Mather, a former Stanford graduate student.
“This is really an exciting area, because it means we have a lot of knowledge about how these membranes work, and this is a great starting point for understanding what they can do.”
“Our new results demonstrate that Bontric membranes can handle higher temperatures and higher pressures than traditional transport systems, which may have implications for biofuel production,” said co-senior author Adam Scholten, associate professor of chemical engineering.
“Bontronic membrane transport is very versatile, and we’re looking to use this knowledge to optimize the technology for bioenergy production.”
“Bontric membrane transport was designed to take the stress of transporting different materials and materials from one location to another, which is one of the major challenges in transportation,” said Sperlings, who is now a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Pennsylvania.
“We now have a better understanding of how these systems perform under different conditions, and they are performing well in the real world.”
The study found Bontran membranes perform well at elevated temperatures and pressures, which could lead to improved membrane technology that could be used in applications such as in the fuel cell market.
“When we talk about biofueline use, we’re talking about applications like fuel cell vehicles, which require a lot more energy to run than the membrane system that is currently used,” said Scholtens co-lead author, professor Jürgen Lohr.
“In that context, we think that these membrane systems could also be useful in fuel cell systems.
We think the same can be said for transport systems for other types of materials.”
The Bouchas team has already started to use the membrane technology in a new type of fuel cell, the B-Bonded Fuel Cell.
“The B-Bronded fuel cell is the most efficient fuel cell currently on the market,” said Lohrd.
“Our goal is to demonstrate that membrane transport can be used for other applications, so we’re working on a number things that could have an impact on biofuel use.”
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