Posts Tagged ‘Biofuel’
As known as Oilgae as well, is being considered to be the third generation biofuel. Its production is low cost and high yield, almost 30 times more energy production per acre as compared to the land required by other conventional feedstock to produce biofuels. At present researches are being conducted by Alga culture (farming Algae) to produce different fuels to harvest for making vegetable oil, biodiesel, bioethanol, biomethanol, biobutanol and other biofuels and it seems if the methodology is sustainable than other available biofuels then using algae to produce bio diesel would be the only viable method to replace the need of gasoline used for automotive today.
Biofuels are considered to be the best way to reduce green house gas emissions and alternate to the pollutant fossil fuels. But recently, according to Nobel Laureate Paul Cortzen findings, some of the most commonly used biofuels Bioethanol from corn and bio diesel from rapeseed releases Nitrous Oxide (N2O) is contributing much more to the global warming than the fossil fuels are contributing right now. Processing of biofuel form algae has been tested that it captures large amounts of CO2 and N2O available in the atmosphere( 40% in a course of full day and 80% in sunny days) and an acre of algae can produce enough oil to make 5,000 gallons of biodiesel in a year.
According to my point of view biodiesel and bio ethanol from rapeseed and corn is not only adding to global warming but economically it cannot be sustainable because its one of the main sources of edible oil. Ethanol demand can threaten the food prices. A recent study conducted by Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University reveled that considering the high-price crude oil scenario, U.S. ethanol production could reach 30 billion gallons by 2016, consuming more than half of U.S. corn, wheat and other coarse grain production and triggering higher meat prices for consumers, reduced production across-the-board for all segments of the meat sector, and even greater reductions in grain and meat exports. Taking in review the sustainability and economic factor biofuel from Alga culture seems to be most promising fuel for future.
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Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, has announced approval for an agricultural project that will develop biofuel from rotting dates.
According to Reuters, “Iraq has the world’s third largest oil reserves but its crumbling farm sector, which has suffered from decades of sanctions, isolation and war, is the country’s leading employer.”
The dates-to-biofuel program, being developed by an unnamed company based in the United Arab Emirates, is seen as a way to encourage growth in the farming sector which Iraqi officials hope will ultimately lead to greater agricultural productivity.
Iraqi officials also hope it will reinvigorate their once vibrant date export industry. The country, which produced 900,000 tons of dates prior to the U.S. invasion, now produces only 350,000 tons. By giving farmers a way to profit from dates that are starting to rot, they help to minimize the risk.
And the oil rich country plans to use the biofuel domestically at first, with the possibility of future export.
In another oil exporting country, Oman, Oman Green Energy Company (OGEC), has been testing the development of biofuel from the date palm for some years. In the case of OGEC, they claim to use cellulosic biomass extracted from around the date palms and in a way that doesn’t interfere with the date crop.
In a 2008 study, desert dates were also found to be an excellent source of biofuel stock, especially for arid regions. The study focused particularly on the Arava desert in Israel and its potential to develop cost-effective biodiesel production.
While biodiesel production in oil poor Israel makes sense, biofuels might be seen as a gamble in a country like Oman which exports 700,000 barrels of oil a day, and derives 90% of its export revenue from oil. Likewise a biofuel program in Iraq, where the country’s financial stability has been put in the hands of its oil industry, may seem out of place. And yet, biofuels are seen as delivering additional value. In Iraq, they may be the key to bringing back a devastated agricultural sector.
In recent years there has been a lot of interest in renewable and alternative energy sources. This has seemingly become an even bigger issue in the wake of the Japanese nuclear crisis, where the nuclear plant at Fukushima was damaged by the earthquake and resultant tsunami on March 11th. There is now a real danger that harmful radiation could escape from the site. People have always been uncertain of the safety of utilising nuclear power and such a scare only serves to heighten their concerns. That is why increasingly people are looking for alternatives. One such alternative is the use of biofuels.
What are Biofuels?
The term ‘biofuel’ refers to a broad range of fuels that are created from ‘biomass’ (see below). Biofuels are often used as an additive rather than as a ‘pure’ fuel. Bioethanol is an example of this. It is an alcohol created by fermenting the sugar components of plant materials and whilst ethanol can be used as a fuel for cars in its purest form, it is normally added to petrol to improve the emissions from the vehicle and increase octane.
Ok, so what is Biomass?
Biomass is a renewable energy source. It refers specifically to biomaterials from living organisms and recently living organisms – examples of which are wood, waste and alcohol fuels. There are actually several different sources of biomass energy, so in addition to the three just mentioned, there are: garbage and landfill gases. There are a few different mechanisms by which biomass can be converted to energy:
This involves the use of heat in order to convert biomass into an alternative chemical form. There are different forms of thermal conversion – two examples of which are torrefaction and pyrolysis.
This is quite simply where a range of chemical processes are used in order to convert biomass to alternative forms.
This involves harnessing the power of naturally occurring biochemical conversion processes. Microorganisms are used to break down biomass – Anaerobic Digestion is an example of this.
Biogas is a type of biofuel that is produced by anaerobic digestion or fermentation of biodegradable materials, including biomass. Biodegradable waste can, for example, be converted to methane – which is a renewable energy source.
So are Biofuels the answer?
It remains to be seen whether or not biofuels are a long term solution to the problems surrounding the energy industry. There are certainly discussions to be had about the impact that the production of biofuels has on carbon emissions and biodiversity, but these are certainly not the only issues.
Biofuels from Engineered Tobacco Plants?
A biofuel is tricky to define because the usual fossil fuel we use, is in a way biofuel too. But we can safely say that most of the biofuels don’t add up their quota of carbon dioxide to the environment. The biofuels are therefore considered to be “CO2 neutral.” Researchers from the Biotechnology lenovo thinkpad x61 battery Foundation Laboratories at Thomas Jefferson University have developed a new method to increase the quantity of oil in tobacco leaves. So that oil in tobacco leaves can be utilized as biofuels in future. Their paper was published in Plant Biotechnology Journal which is an online journal.
Vyacheslav Andrianov is a Ph.D. and assistant professor of Cancer Biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. According to him tobacco can produce biofuel more efficiently than other agricultural crops. But there is a hitch. When we try to extract oil lenovo ideapad y430 battery, most of it is available in tobacco seeds. Statistics say that tobacco seeds are composed of about 40 percent oil per dry weight. Another snag is tobacco plants don’t produce seeds in copious amounts. It is about 600 kg of seeds per acre. Dr. Andrianov and his colleagues aim to find ways so that the tobacco leaves produce more oil.
A usual tobacco plant leave has 1.7 percent to 4 percent of oil per dry weight. The researchers modified two genes of the plant. They are the diacyglycerol acytransferase (DGAT) gene or the LEAFY COTYLEDON 2 (LEC2) gene. The plants were engineered to over express one of the two genes. The alteration of DGAT gene resulted in about 5.8 percent of oil per dry weight in the leaves. It is around twice the amount of oil produced by and large. When the researcher went for the LEC2 gene modification it yielded around 6.8 percent of oil per dry weight.
According to Dr. Andrianov, “Tobacco is very attractive as a biofuel because the idea is to use plants that aren’t used in food production. We have found ways to genetically engineer the plants so that their leaves express more oil. In some instances, the modified plants produced 20-fold more oil in the leaves.”
Dr. Andrianov opines, “Based on these data, tobacco represents an attractive and promising ‘energy plant’ platform, and could also serve as a model for toshiba satellite a215 battery the utilization of other high-biomass plants for biofuel production.”
There is a growing concern these days for the environment, and several countries have taken the initiative to promote the use of renewable energy to lessen humanity’s impact on the planet. Canada is one such country taking the lead in green technologies, and using biofuels is one of the steps they have taken in becoming one of the world’s leaders in the consumption of environmentally friendly fuels.
Biofuels are simply liquid fuels manufactured from plant and animal materials. Because this matter is biodegradable, it is not only capable of powering vehicles and heating homes, but the waste is then absorbed once again into the earth, nurturing new life able to provide future renewable energy sources.
Bioethanol, commonly referred to as just ethanol, is the most common biofuel currently in production. Canada’s federal government has taken note of ethanol’s potential as an alternative renewable energy and created a plan requiring gasoline to contain 5% ethanol by the end of this year. The plan would also require diesel fuels to contain at least 2% ethanol by the end of 2012. As a matter of fact, the provincial government of Manitoba has taken a leadership role in the biodiesel industry by creating mandates requiring similar percentages as those devised by the federal government that will go into effect in 2010. This precedes the federal mandate by two years. Manitoba is known for its prairie lands, the crops that grow there, and the animals that graze upon these crops. The amount of plant and animal materials available for the production of biofuels is great. Manitoba has inspired the provincial government of British Columbia to adopt similar strategies.
The corporation of Raven Biofuels Limited was established to research and develop technologies conducive to efficient and prolific use of biofuels throughout Canada, and they have identified British Columbia as a starting point. Joining Raven Biofuels International Corporation (RBIC), their goal is to pay RBIC a fee providing them exclusive rights to biofuel development in Canada. Their intent is to build the first commercial biorefinery and place it in Kamloops, British Columbia. Though it may seem as though a monopoly or trust would emerge from this partnership, the goal is to set an example and to provide guidance to other potential commercial endeavors. Municipalities have partnered with British Columbia’s provincial government to create the BC Bioenergy Strategy, which has already garnered million to fund a Biofuel Network focused on furthering biofuel energy technology not just in British Columbia, but throughout Canada.
In a rather “environmentally concerned” approach to cut down on the carbon emission from flights, Lufthansa airlines has announced that they will start commercial biofuel flights daily between Hamburg and Frankfurt in a six-month trial from April 2011. The move to operate an aircraft engine with biofuel over a long stretch of six months, is first of its kind in the world.
Energy security issues, hike in petrol prices and climate change from greenhouse gases emitted by airplanes have been troubling the airline industry for quite some time. Virgin Atlantic Airlines, British Airways and Continental Airline have have already tested on biofuel flights in the last two years. However, environmentalists have been constantly warning that production of biofuels can also have adverse effects on environment.
Utilizing biofuel in flight operations can save around 1,500 tonnes (15,00,000 kg) of Carbon dioxide emissions. However, as the airline industry worldwide is calling for an alternative source of energy, there’s a need to check for the sustainability of biofuels against fossil fuels and their effect on aircraft’s engine over a longer term. Plus, environmental concerns are another big issue related to production of biofuels.
According to a report by UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, biofuel plantations are destroying ecosystem of various regions in the world. Palm oil plantations set up for biofuel production in Indonesia and Malaysia, have led to deforestation resulting in more emission of greenhouse gases as the worst consequence.
In such a situation, a sustainable and environment-friendly way to produce biofuels is the need of the hour.
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Biofuels may be defined as any fuel obtained from biomass. Biomass is material derived from plants and animals. Experts and environmentalists feel that we need to make changes in our manner of living so that we can protect the planet from global warming. Switching to biofuels for the transportation industry can be one such change.
Some of the Biofuels include vegetable oil, biodiesel, biogas and bioalcohol. Vegetable oil is used to manufacture biodiesel which can be used in cars. Biodiesel is generated through a process known as transesterification by using oils and fats. Today, this is the most commonly used biofuel in the world. Bioalcohols like ethanol fuel and butanol are produced by fermentation of sugars and starch. Biodiesel is a source of renewable energy, since it is plant based. It is a green fuel as it does not release toxic gases in the atmosphere.
Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine, mixed with the normal diesel. Biobutanol which is also called biogasoline can be used directly in a vehicle as a replacement for gasoline. Biofuels are beneficial to the environment as they reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce our dependence on fossil fuel, increase national energy security, increase rural development and provide a sustainable fuel supply for the future.
Many environmental groups are supporting the use of biofuels since they see it as a significant step towards slowing down climate change. Many countries which are beginning to recognise the importance of bioenergy have dedicated facilities for research, development and deployment. There is exchange of information and co-operation among the nations who realize the importance of reaping the benefits of biofuels.
At present there are a few problems associated with the use of biofuels, one of them being the high cost of production. Another point of note is the extensive deforestation due to the use of wood as a source of biomass, and the negative impact it will have on the environment. There are other issues with bio diesel fuel relating to the transport industry, as it does not perform well in cold climates. The wax crystals formed may clog fuel lines of the vehicles. So vehicles may still have to be powered by gasoline in cold climates unless future research can overcome these problems.
In future however, biofuels should become cost effective, affordable, abundant and eco-friendly. This is a challenge for the scientists and hopefully, with the amount of research being done in the field of biotechnology, the world will get an abundant source of alternative energy. Once the stocks of fossil fuels deplete, and the price of oil rises to unprecedented levels, there will be tremendous pressure to look for alternatives. Biofuels can then be used as an alternative source of energy for powering your cars,boilers and engines as also providing heat and electricity to your homes.
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Copyright (c) 2009 Wes Fernley
The recent breathtaking spike in oil prices has finally awakened professionals in the energy field to the very real need for alternatives. As a result, we are seeing liquid fuels developed from plant materials entering the market. Sugar components of various plant materials if fermented will yield an alcohol called bioethanol. Even cellulosic biomass (trees and grasses, for instance) can be used to produce this kind of biofuel. Ethanol, widely used in Brazil as well as in the United States, can, actually, be used in a pure form; however, it is used more as an additive to boost octane in addition to reducing emissions.
Biodiesel, on the other hand, is made from oils—vegetable or animal. Very often, greases are recycled and used for biodiesel. Like ethanol, it can be used in its pure form for diesel engines but is more often treated as an additive. This is the most common biofuel in Europe. The process for producing it from fats and oils is called transesterification.
In 2008, 1.8% of the world’s transport fuel was biofuel. Investment in the production of this new approach to fueling transportation vehicles for the world is expanding rapidly. It was billion in 2007. The liquid biofuels are the most popular ones for these purposes because they can be pumped, and they can directly replace gasoline. Not only do internal combustion engines run cleaner on biofuels, but pollution is also minimized. Biofuels are generally classified as first generation, second generation, and third generation.
First generation biofuels are made from sugar, starch, vegetable oil, or animal fats. Grains such as wheat are fermented into bioethanol; sunflower seeds are pressed to yield vegetable oil for biodiesel. The most common first generation biofuels:
- Vegetable Oil
- Solid biofuels
Second generation biofuels are made from non-food crops such as waste biomass, stalks of wheat, corn, wood, and certain grasses. To avoid the political issues that have arisen from the use of food that is needed for humans and animals to produce fuel, the pressure is on to develop more of these sources. Some of the second-generation biofuels under development:
- Fischer-Tropsch Diesel
- Biohydrogen Diesel
- Mixed Alcohols
- Wood Diesel
Third-generation biofuels are made primarily from algae, which can produce up to 30 times more energy per acre than land crops such as soybeans. However, they have not yet been produced commercially. These are biodegradable and will not harm the environment if they happen to be spilled. Algae can be grown agriculturally. It’s estimated that 15,000 square miles of algae would meet all the needs for petroleum fuel in the United States.
- Agricultural Algae
- Ethanol from Living Algae
- Helioculture (collection of carbon dioxide from the air using solar power)
For the non-scientist, this seems somewhat complicated, but more and more professionals in the appropriate fields are switching to this quickly-emerging industry, and we can hope that many of the problems the world faces now in obtaining energy without jeopardizing our environments will see solutions in the coming years.