(U-WIRE) PROVO, Utah-Money may not grow on trees, but Larry Baxter, Brigham Young University professor of chemical engineering, said there is a substance in trees that can supplement the United States’ dependence on foreign petroleum.
For the past 10 years, Baxter has focused his research on biomass combustion, which attempts to maximize the energy potential in material, which is usually discarded. One possible source of energy, Baxter said, is a liquid called black liquor.
“Imagine a tree,” he said. “Trees get made into paper, among other things, and so if you consider the part of the tree that doesn’t get made into paper, that’s the black liquor.”
Baxter said the liquid has the potential to replace about 11 percent of the United State’s imported petroleum. In addition, there are other benefits to considering black liquor as a fuel option.