Posts Tagged ‘Food Crops’
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.
Oil prices have always been a concern. Recent events, along with increased awareness of the environment, have shown us the need for the creation of alternative means of energy.
Many different options have been proposed. Nuclear power is possible but comes with obvious safety concerns. Solar and wind look like viable options, but don’t seem to be getting large amounts of support. Another option is biofuel, which involves using the energy of organic materials to replace the function of fossil fuels. Ethanol is perhaps the most widely used of these, especially in Brazil and the United States, and is used most commonly as a blend with regular fuel.
Another kind of biofuel is biodiesel, which is made from either vegetable oils or animal oils. It’s actually possible with today’s technology to take the fat that comes from the grills at McDonalds and recycle this into usable fuel! As with ethanol, it can be used purely on its own but is commonly just a supplement to be added with other fuel. It’s currently the most common biofuel in Europe. The process of turning animal and vegetable oils into usable fuel is known as transesterification.
1.8% of the world’s transport fuel was biofuel in 2008. This figure seems small, but investment in these technologies is continually increasing, and will inevitably create new technological breakthroughs and a rise in popularity. Biofuels come in many different forms, and are commonly categorized into first, second and third generation.
First generation fuels are made from food crops such as sugar, starch and animal or oil fats. Grains can be made into bioethanol, and sunflower seeds into vegetable oil and then biodiesel. These are the most common first generation biofuels: Biodiesel, bioalcohols, vegetable oil, bioethers, solid biofuels, Syngas and biogas.
From non-food crops like waste, stalks of wheat and corn we get the second generation of biofuels. Since first generation biofuels are made from edible sources, the hunt is on to create more second-generation technology that can avoid a food shortage that may occur. They include biohydrogen, biomethanol, mixed alcohols and wood diesel.
Third-generation biofuels are the most complex, and come usually from algae, which produces a large amount of energy. While the advantages of third generation fuels would be great, since it’s virtually impossible for them to cause environmental damage, the technology has so far not been sufficiently developed to allow these biofuels to be produced commercially. It’s been put forth that 15,000 square miles of algae could supply all the petroleum fuel required by the United States.
These new technological developments show just how exciting the field of biofuel is, and the great benefits it can provide to the environment. The current environmental problems and massive fuel prices could perhaps be fixed forever with the further development of second and third generation fuels. Who knows what will be powering us fifty years from now?
Incoming search terms:
- biodiesel (1)
Copyright (c) 2010 Alison Withers
According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation food and bioenergy crops are now competing for land, water and other resources in many parts of the world.
The FAO argues that the rising price of basic foods in 2007 – 08 that generated food scarcity worries and import restrictions in some countries wasn’t caused only by poor harvests in major producing countries and high oil and energy prices raising the cost of inputs like fertilizers and irrigation as well as the transport costs of inputs and food.
The speculation on the commodity markets was also partly driven by the rising demand for liquid biofuel, it says.
The environmental argument for using bio-diesel made from oilseed rape, or bio-ethanol, manufactured from wheat, maize or sugar, is the significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions over the full cycle of production and use compared with fossil fuels.
Not surprisingly the prospect of a smaller carbon footprint and greater energy security has encouraged Governments around the world to offer tax breaks to encourage use of biofuels and to set targets for the inclusion of biofuels in transport and other fuels.
When there was an over-supply of commodities like food it was fine, but not once it was clear that global population growth and diet change were together generating increased demand for food while climate change with its associated droughts and storms seemed to be limiting the world’s productive capacity.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), confusingly, takes the view that the increase in biofuels production has NOT been the dominant driver of food price inflationfor certain crops and certain countries.
It cites long-term factors – like the failure to accord the importance it deserved to the agricultural sector during the last decades, plus distorted agricultural markets and the dismantling of policies supporting domestic markets in developing countries – as being far more accountable for the present food crisis than biofuels.
It argues that where biofuels have had an impact, the relationship between biofuels and food price spikes should be interpreted more as a policy failure than as an intrinsic and unavoidable consequence of the production of biofuels. Nevertheless plainly bioenergy can provide opportunities to increase rural incomes and employment.
But while rising commodity prices imply potential greater profits from switching land to crops for biofuels they also arguably lead to the destruction of vast areas of rainforest, as trees are felled to make way for palm oil plantations in countries like Brazil and Malaysia, and to the threat of creating “a monocultural desert, devoid of biodiversity, across vast swathes of the British countryside”.
According to Andre Croppenstedt, an economist with the Agricultural Development Economics Division of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, biofuel production need not compete with food production if biofuel demand generates increased incomes for farm households and this in turn is invested in raising productivity of all farm activities, including food production.
UNCTAD also argues that what’s needed in the longer term is support for investment efforts aimed at enhancing the agricultural productivity of developing countries, particularly of small farmers, and making sure that these investments increase farmers’ ability “to capture a larger share of the growing agricultural revenues”
Whatever the pros and cons of the arguments there is a finite amount of available crop-producing land,
So there needs to be greater investment in the resources and support farmers need to improve their land’s yield while farming sustainably.
One way of doing that would be to support the efforts of biopesticide developers with globally agreed and quicker regulation of their new generation low-chem agricultural products and with Government investment towards the costs of developing more environmentally friendly crop protection and yield enhancing products.
Even if such higher yielding methods come to market, however, land availability still sets limits to how much cna be produced.
Investment should therefore be also coupled with promoting the development of second-generation biofuels – based on converting cellulose resources such as grass and fast-growing trees into fuels – to help to limit the direct competition between food and fuel associated with most first-generation biofuels.
The EC Climate Change Initiative accepted that second generation biofuels produced from materials like straw and forestry residues could enable far greater reductions in Greenhouse gases.
It also advocates selecting an overall production chain that can use a high yielding biomass crop to improve land use efficiency.
For instance most oils seed crops only produce a few tonnes per hectare per annum, sugar and starch crops may generate 5 to 10 tonnes, while significantly greater yields come from woody plants – or from conventional crops like cereals if the straw can be used.
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Biofuels have seen a spurt in the US and the EU, with the latter planning to increase its annual production to about 10% of its liquid fuels by 2020. The United States has set up an ambitious target to produce about 8 billion gallons annually by 2012 and about 40 billion gallons by 2022. Though the energy companies are widening their portfolios to include biofuels, the move is fraught by significant challenges such as types of fuels to be used, regulations and regulatory approvals, increased usage of land for cultivating biofuel crops and diversion of food crops for fuel production which is resulting in the increase of food prices.
This report analyses the global market for Biofuels and the product segments analyzed in this report include Ethanol and Biodiesel. Rich statistical analysis is carried out for the global and the regional markets including the United States, Brazil, European Union, Asia-Pacific and Rest of World. The regional markets further analyzed for European Union – Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and Rest of EU; Asia-Pacific – China, India, Australia and Rest of Asia-Pacific.
Global market for Biofuels is projected to grow by a CAGR of 12.9% during the period 2006-2015 to reach US$ 61.5 billion by 2015. The report comprises 112 rich data tables, supported with meaningful and easy to understand graphical presentation, of market numbers. The statistical tables represent the data for the global market value/consumption volumes by geographic regions and the product segments.
The report covers the profiles of 51 key global players and 79 major players for The North America – 46; Brazil – 2; European Union – 21; Asia-Pacific – 6; and Rest of World – 4. The report also provides the listing of the companies engaged in research, technology development, equipment manufacturing and the supply of biofuels. The global list covers addresses, contact numbers and the website addresses of 692 companies.
Table of Contents
1. GLOBAL MARKET PERSPECTIVE
1.2 Product Segmentation
1.3 Biofuels Production Analysis
1.4 Snapshot on Global Biofuel Policies
1.5. Market Trends
1.6 Key Global Players
1.7 Key Business Trends
1.8 Global Market Overview
1.8.1 Market Overview by Product Segment
1.8.2 Product Segment Overview by Geographic Region
2. REGIONAL MARKET PERSPECTIVE
2.1 Regional Market Overview
2.1.1 The United States
2.1.3 European Union
184.108.40.206 European Union Market Overview by Country
The United Kingdom
Rest of European Union
220.127.116.11 Asia-Pacific Market Overview by Country
Rest of Asia Pacific
2.1.5Rest of World
3. GUIDE TO THE INDUSTRY
3.1 United States
3.3 European Union
3.5 Rest of World
3.5.6 Papua New Guinea
3.5.7 South Africa
3.5.8 South Korea
3.5.9 South Korea
4.1 Research methodology
4.2 The Questionnaire
Major Global Market Players
American Ethanol Group
Australian Biodiesel Group Ltd
Aventine Renewable Fuels Limited
BioFuel Energy Corp.
Biofutures International Plc
Blue Sky Bio-Fuels
BlueFire Ethanol Fuels, Inc.
British Petroleum Company PLC
Cavitation Technologies, Inc.
China Clean Energy Inc.
Consolidated Biofuels, Inc.
DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol Llc
EOP Biodiesel AG
Evolution Fuels, Inc.
Download a free brochure at http://industry-experts.com/brochure-biofuels/
For more details please visit http://industry-experts.com/research-estore/biotechnology/biofuels/
Biofuels Market in China 2010
Biofuels has huge growth potential in China as domestic and foreign biofuel producers have either started their production facilities or are working on the feasibility plan of establishing a facility. Recently, domestic and foreign players have formed joint ventures to develop second generation biofuels. The government is taking initiatives by investing in the development of marginal land on which non food crops are grown for the production of biofuels. Development of second generation biofuels along with government’s support will drive the biofuels market in China. ( http://www.bharatbook.com/detail.asp?id=154292&rt=Biofuels-Market-in-China-2010.html )
The report begins with an introduction of biofuels market indicating different types of biofuels and its respective feedstocks. This is followed by an overview of the bioethanol and biodiesel market including its production capacity and different available feedstocks used for the same. It further talks about the development of second generation biofuels i.e. cellulosic ethanol.
An analysis of drivers explain factors contributing to the growth of biofuels market including depleting and dependency on oil reserves, rising automotive sector, degradation of environment, international partnerships and social impact. The key challenges identified include scarcity of land and water and food security. Government initiatives have been discussed indicating the subsidies given to develop the market.
Competition section provides brief profiles of major domestic and foreign players in the market. The section contains a snapshot of their corporation, financial performance and business highlights, providing an insight into the existing competitive scenario.
For more information kindly visit : http://www.bharatbook.com/detail.asp?id=154292&rt=Biofuels-Market-in-China-2010.html
Global Biofuel Market Analysis
The Biofuels Market 2010-2020
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As the world’s attention has turned to renewable energy as a means to aid in the maintenance of the environment, Germany has taken charge as a leader in biofuels. Biofuels are often used to power automobiles and other machinery. They are derived from animal waste or from plant matter such as grain or rapeseed oil. Harmful emissions from fossil fuels are thus avoided.
In an effort to revolutionize biofuel use and technology, Germany decreed that 20% of all fuel consumed would be biofuel by the year 2020. A new fuel known as E-10 was supposed to have been introduced in 2009, made up of 90% ethanol. Ethanol is a renewable energy alcohol made from the fermentation of sugar. Unfortunately, the German Automobile Club found that nearly 3.7 million cars were unable to convert the fuel into power. The original estimate was that only around 1 million cars would be affected. Critics of the plan to accelerate the use of first generation biofuels like ethanol propose that if more crops are used to produce biofuel in Germany, then the price of food crops would rise. In addition, the demand for sugar cane imports from Brazil would threaten more rain forest acreage. They found the news that the ethanol revolution had hit a snag encouraging.
However, this obstacle has not stopped Germany’s biofuels industry. In fact, the nation is nearly ready to start commercial production of biofuels this year. A plant built by Choren Industries is in the final stages of construction in Freiburg, a city in the southern part of the country. Using wood-based products, the goal is to produce 15,000 tonnes of biomass-to-liquid gas, a second generation biofuel. Freiburg is already renowned for its recycling efforts, and with the addition of a biofuels plant, they will certainly gain further recognition as an eco-city. As long ago as 1992, Freiburg city council passed a resolution allowing for only low-energy buildings to be constructed on municipal land.
Choren Industries plans to study the political climate in Germany before constructing larger biofuels plants. Although they do not produce first generation biofuels from renewable energy materials such as palm oil and rapeseed oil (keeping food costs down), production of second generation biofuels from wood is costlier to produce. Choren is more interested in working in cooperation with German citizens than forcing biofuel plants upon them. When it comes to the renewable energy of biofuels, Germany wishes to lead by example, not by force.
In these days of economic strife, we are sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for biofuels to hit the corner gas station. Why it’s taking so long is another matter and we have no clear answer on how long its going to take for biofuels to be a viable option in our community. The difference between biofuels and fossil fuels is the amount of time an organic material has been dead. Biofuels can be produced from any biological carbon source. Most common sources are photosynthetic plants. Also a wide array of different fuels ranging from water to White Lightning. White lightning, of course, being Ethanol.
Using water with electrically charged metal plates submerged into the water produces hydrogen gas, which if ran into your intake manifold, can save you some gas. The internet is flooded with this hydrogen generator and manuals on how to build it and install it. Why car manufacturers are choosing other avenues is a mystery. There are cars being made that are electric and run on hydrogen fuel, however, there are not many stations around that carry hydrogen, so where ever you go, may be a one way trip. Ethanol is produced with corn. It takes a lot of energy to produce. If you went a 100 miles with a gas vehicle, you would need one-third more ethanol to go the same hundred miles. Since it takes so much to produce Ethanol it will not be cheap and it will eat up food resources and since we will be growing for fuel, not food, corn and wheat prices will increase. There is research ongoing trying to extract ethanol from non food crops. You also need a bigger tank to store the Ethanol and one that is not prone to corrosion. That coupled with stronger hoses and equipment needed to run this fuel will increase the price of the vehicle.
BioGas is gas produced by anaerobic digestion. Essentially, gas produced by rotting garbage. Landfills are covered with plastic then buried with a pipe sticking out to release the pressurized gas. If it is not stored or burned these gasses are a potent form of greenhouse gas. This gas can be used in a couple of different ways, such as heating and the production of electricity.