Posts Tagged ‘Fossil Fuels’
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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6 reasons to use biofuels.
Biofuels is a nickname to renewable fuels from biological source, that can replace fuels that come from fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel. It is now possible to purchase or make yourself biodiesel for diesel engines or ethanol for gasoline engines. The prices are becoming closer to those of fossil fuels and there are many benefit to it. Here I’ll count 7 benefits of biofuels:
1. Availability – It is renewable. Unlike fossil fuels, biofuels can be easily produced from raw agricultural materials. These facts ensure that the reservoir of fuel will never end, and that we can keep producing it, like we produce our food.
2. Price – since the reservoir is virtually unlimited, we can assure that as time goes by, the oil prices will increase duo to the increase in demand/production ratio, while the biofuels prices will decrease duo to the progress in agriculture science and techniques. In a few years from now, it is almost certain that biofuels prices will be much lower than fossil fuels, so the sooner you start using it, the better.
3. Independence –Biofuelsare easy to produce, and propose a new prospect to fuel consumers – unlike today’s when huge company controls the fuel industry and supply, making the small consumer a slave to their will, biofuels will allow individuals and small manufacturer to get into this business and increase the competition. This is good both to the manufacturers and to the clients.
4. Healthier – biodiesel and ethanol are much safer than biofuels – they are much better to the environment, and have a great implication regarding global warming and air quality. If you care about the air that you and your children are breathing, you must take it under consideration.
5. Better to the engine. Biofuels are not only healthier to the environment, but also much better to the engines. Much research done by the automobile industry shows that biodiesel and ethanol increase the efficiency of the engine and it life span.
6. Have good political implications. At present, oil producing countries enclose a huge power in their hands, allowing them to take advantage of their power to harm other countries, and jeopardise world peace. Crossing to a different fuel source will dramatically reduce the pressure of oil deficiency, allowing many suppressed countries to flourish.
I hope that these reasons will capture your attention, to do something in that direction, making the world a better place to everyone.
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As the global economy spirals into economic depression and fuel prices fluctuate wildly, many average Americans are starting to take notice of a need for change. The current administration was elected on a campaign of change, and we are hopeful that a greener, more sustainable source of fuel and power is truly an objective. The U.S. dependency on foreign oil is a source of many violent conflicts, and the pollution emitted by our heavy use of fossil fuels is contributing largely to global warming as well as environmental pollution that is impacting the health of our families. The capability to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels exists, as biofuels are a green and sustainable alternative, but their use has never been implemented on a large scale in the United States. Perhaps the new administration can recognize that this is about more than saving money or creating new jobs, and is the only way to create a sustainable future.
Usually a pioneer in new technologies, the United States is far behind when it comes to the use of biofuels. Much of Europe uses these biofuels, with many countries generating at least a quarter of their heat from this source. Sweden heats over thirty five percent of homes, businesses, and other buildings using biofuels and operates boilers that work at an astounding ninety percent efficiency. When considering the large strides taken by so many other nations, it is hard to comprehend why we have not taken similar measures.
Political motive aside, however, it is rapidly becoming common knowledge that we must wean ourselves from fossil fuels and biofuel is by far the most commonly accepted alternative. Safe, clean, and sustainable, biofuel can be used in existing systems with only minor alterations, making it a cheaper and more fluid transition for the millions of Americans who would need to upgrade automobiles and heating systems. The question is not whether we need to wean ourselves from this dependence, but rather how to go about making the change.
Many public transportation systems and college transport vehicles have already made the change to biofuel. While this is only a small step, it shows the public that biofuel is reliable and effective without causing need for fossil fuels. The consumer market, however, seems to be easier to convince than many in the energy production industry. Many facilities seem to ignore the concept altogether, even as emissions standards change in an attempt to create new methods of energy production. Tax incentives for consumers offer great encouragement in a struggling economy, but the idea is only sustainable if there is a constant and easily accessible source of biofuel in every area of the nation, presenting problems for early adopters of the new technology.
The attempted weaning of the United States from fossil fuels to biofuels will need to undergo a shift in its targets to be largely successful. While attempts to start with consumers and end users have been moderately successful, it is industrialists, businesses, and energy producers that must be encouraged to begin implementing the fuel en masse, creating a viable market and the consensus among consumers that the fuel will be available universally. When this is achieved, the consumer market will be much more receptive to a cheaper and cleaner source of fuel.
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Biofuels are when we use organic matter as fuel by converting it into power for use. By producing biofuels, this is an alternative energy source as we depend on fossil fuels. The ethanol products include under its aegis, derivatives of plants like sugar cane, and also corn and vegetable oils, all part of the biofuels umbrella. Not all of them are designed for use as gasoline, although the International Energy Agency (IEA) say that by 2025, 10 % of the world’s gasoline could be made up of ethanol products, and by 2030, it could be up to as much as 30%. At the moment, the percentage stands at just 2%.
A lot of research is going into biofuels, and it will be some time before we can refine them to make them more economic and practical enough to use. Oregon State University have done a study to prove this. Biofuels have not yet been developed which are as energy efficient as petroleum which makes up our gasoline. To put it simply, energy efficiency is how we measure the usable energy that is derived from the input energy by a certain amount. (Up till now we have not come up with any product where the output energy exceeded that of what was input). What is most important is the end product energy that has been converted and its usefulness for our society’s needs, the effort involved is what we put into the input energy so as to produce which is the end-product. A study by the OSU found that ethanol which is corn-derived was only 20% energy efficient (compared to gasoline that is 75% energy efficient and made from petroleum). Biodiesel fuel had a recorded energy efficiency of 69%. Out of the study came one positive thing: higher than nuclear energy which is effectively efficient, was cellulose-derived ethanol charted as 85% efficient.
The New York Exchange has marked a change in oil for the future, with analysts from many countries having predicted surges in the availability of biofuels, which would offset oil prices, seeing crude oil drop to prices of about per barrel on the international market. On the Chicago Stock Exchange there is more investment activity in future markets on grain, making a “steal” on the oil futures of New York, with investors expecting much better profitability from biofuels to come. By 2030, a consensus of analysts have predicted that biofuels will account for 7% of transportation for all round the world. Demand for and diesel and gasoline will slowly fall dramatically according to one energy market analyst, as government supports the use of the more eco-friendly biofuels and subsidise the manufactures of this fuel.
Many nations support the use of biofuels and its production in developement.
Brazil is the biggest in the production of ethanols that are derived from sugars. Approximately three and a half billion gallons of ethanol is produced in a year.
The greatest oil user is the United States, who already come second behind the largest producer, Brazil, in biofuels.
The European Union now have an excess of four million (British) tonnes in biodiesel production capacity, of which 80% is derived from rapeseed oil. The remaining 20% of the EU’s biodiesel fuels is marginally from palm oil and the rest comprised of soybean oil.
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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?
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As people are waiting for “them” to make biofuel available as a source of energy there are many of us who have been using forest biofuel to heat our homes for generations. This biofuel is sold on the free market without government subsidies or a need for more research and development.
Wood can be made into many biofuel products like methane, alcohol, or diesel and it can be burned directly to power electric generators to produce electricity. All of these are expensive and energy intensive. After refining wood into these biofuels the cost and energy used has not made wood biofuel a viable source of energy. The exception to that is burning wood to generate electricity which has experienced some commercial success.
What people often overlook is a form of wood biofuel that requires very little or no processing and that is wood as a heating fuel. While people are waiting for biofuel they are still using fossil fuels to heat their homes when they could switch today to an economically proven biofuel heat source which is to burn wood.
Since there is little or no processing required, direct heating with wood is more efficient than turning wood into another fuel such as diesel or electricity. The raw material is directly converted to the desired product which is heat.
The most basic form of wood biofuel is simple firewood for wood stoves and fireplaces. This is a very desirable form of energy for many homes but it’s not for everyone. Burning firewood does have some disadvantages such as wood handling, it can be messy and can produce smoke. Although modern wood stoves have come a long way in reducing emissions and efficiency. Modern wood stoves can burn with no visible smoke. Burning firewood is not as convenient as other heat sources since you have to continually feed fuel into the fire.
The alternative to fireplaces and firewood stoves is wood pellet stoves. Wood pellets require more processing but pellet stoves are more efficient than firewood stoves so it makes up for the difference. A pellet stove combines the use of renewable biofuel with the convenience of traditional electric, gas or oil heating systems.
Pellet stoves have automatic fuel feeding systems and are thermostatically controlled. Wood pellets are available today and have been proven as a heat source that is competitive and can even cost less than fossil fuels.
Both firewood and wood pellets are available as a practical source of forest biofuel that you can start using today. Which one you choose depends on your situation and preferences.
Learn more about wood pellets and learn more about firewood as biofuels.
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.
We need only read the front page headlines of every major newspaper to understand the deepening oil crisis and the worldwide repercussions of supply and demand as it relates to our traditional energy resources. Is it any wonder that renewable sources of energy are gaining in popularity as an alternative resource? Biofuel is one emerging energy source that may help address the supply-and-demand dilemma versus modern world overdependence on petroleum and petroleum-based applications. Furthermore, biofuel advocates stress that biofuels give off cleaner emissions of carbon dioxide and sulfur oxide, two greenhouse gases that are responsible for climactic change and global warming.
The Difference Between Biofuel and Fossil Fuel
The critical difference between biofuel and traditional fossil fuel is the number of years it takes to form. Biofuel is derived from recently dead biological or organic material. Traditional fossil fuel comes from long dead (read: millions of years old) biological organisms. For this reason, biofuel is considered a renewable resource because it can be replenished in a short period of time. Fossil fuel is classified as a non-renewable resource because its reserves are being depleted much faster than it takes to form new reserves.
While biofuel and fossil fuel are carbon-based properties (they both derive from biological matter) biofuel is considered carbon neutral because the energy is derived from plants, which remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Whereas, fossil fuels released carbon dioxide, which has been stored beneath the earth surface for millions of years, into the air. Carbon dioxide emissions are the number one pollutant.
Biofuel comes from a variety of feedstock sources, of which the more common ones are corn, sugar cane, palm, wheat, algae, and jatropha. From these feedstock sources, two popular fuels are produced for transportation and machineries. They are biodiesel and bioethanol. Broken down further, biodiesel is derived from plant oils; bioethanol is derived from fermented starch or sugar crops.
How Are Biofulels Used?
Biofuels can be used in a pure (denoted as B100) or a blended form (denoted as a percentage). Biofuel is the most common fuel used in Europe because European car manufacturers outfit their cars with diesel engines. For most unmodified diesel engines, advocates say blends of up to 20% (B20) are deemed safe. Higher concentrations require modifications to the diesel engine.
Bioethanol is suggested as a substitute for gasoline in vehicles. However, users have to be careful in choosing the proper blend of ethanol. Generally, a 10% blend of ethanol (E10) may be safe to be used in newer cars. Lower concentrations have been used in some older engines without having adverse effects on vehicle fuel lines, but users should consult their car manufacturers to find out if bioethanol is safe for their engines. In some cases, conversions can void the manufacturer warranty.
Advocates suggest businesses, especially those in the transportation industry will benefit from using biofuels on two fronts: (1) When biofuel prices are more stable than oil prices, companies are in a better position to plan and budget fuel expenditures for the year. (2) Cleaner vehicular emissions may save transportation companies maintenance costs, while helping them meet new government mandated environmental standards.
Opponents question how governments establish standards, regulations, and mandates and suggest that the underlying motivation for setting certain standards and enforcing mandates is political.
In other words, opponents contend that politicians are showing preferential treatment to their constituents and lobbyists. The end result is that governments, not the economy, are creating winners and losers. If your company or industry falls on the out of political favor side, you may wind up paying higher taxes or incurring higher costs to meet those politically inspired mandates
Car Manufacturer Status
Car manufactures today are being forced to produce more vehicles that are biofuel ready. In addition to using cheaper fuel, both manufacturers and buyers will be given government incentives (in the form of tax credits) to embrace renewable and alternative energy. Studies also suggest that certain types of biofuel (e.g., biodiesel) can make engines last longer when users maintain their cars by using the right biofuel blend.
The Food vs. Fuel Debate
Biofuel does have an underside and has been the subject of a current debate on food vs. fuel. Since biofuel uses plants that are also used in food supply (corn, maize, wheat, sugar cane, and coconut), this raises the question of whether it is appropriate to use food crops to create alternative fuel instead of filling world food demand. The debate has been further intensified as the world experienced what was deemed as a food crisis in 2007. Critics contend that using agricultural land to produce crops to be used in biofuel production led to this crisis.
These issues must be ironed out by policymakers and regulatory bodies to ensure a workable balance between access to energy and all other necessities.
Proponents and opponents come together around environmental and health benefits of going green. Thus the conversion to more biofuels is probably inevitable. Some are very concerned with how that is executed, since the timing of the changes is not clear. Also total direct and indirect costs and what groups benefit and which groups suffer are major concerns. With Congressional leadership dedicated to accelerating greener energy in a way that benefits their constituents and lobbyists (For example, why do tax deductions for trial attorneys help the general public?), there will definitely be winners and losers.
What the biofuels discussion is pointing to is the urgency to begin planning NOW for this inevitability to help protect industries and consumers from rising costs from energy, regulations and taxes.