Making Your Own Fuel

Free Power Secrets

This is a step by step guide, created by Reggie Hamel, shows you everything that you need to know to run your car, truck, tractor or any other motor on homemade alcohol in less than a weeks time. Along with the guide you also get over the shoulder videos that make the process of constructing the mini distillery very simple. It seems you'll be able to build the whole system in less than two hours in a space that is just about the size of a bathtub. Create Your Own Fuel by Reggie Hamel will not only help you save a lot of money, it will also help you save the environment. More importantly, you will be able to help crush big oil companies who are taking advantage of consumers all over the world. Read more...

Free Power Secrets Overview

Rating:

4.8 stars out of 17 votes

Contents: Video Guide
Author: Reggie Hamel
Official Website: www.freepowersecrets.org
Price: $49.97

Access Now

My Free Power Secrets Review

Highly Recommended

I usually find books written on this category hard to understand and full of jargon. But the writer was capable of presenting advanced techniques in an extremely easy to understand language.

This ebook served its purpose to the maximum level. I am glad that I purchased it. If you are interested in this field, this is a must have.

Number of alternative fuel vehicles in use

Diegel, Table 6.1. Estimates of Alternative Fuel Vehicles in Use, 1995-2004, in Transportation Energy Data Book Edition 24, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Planning, Budget Formulation and Analysis, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Washington, DC, December 2004, (accessed August 4, 2005) advanced technology vehicles (hybrids). Many experts believe that the most feasible solution in the near future is to produce vehicles that use a combination of gasoline and one of the alternative fuel sources. These are called advanced technology vehicles or hybrid vehicles. Figure 2.15 depicts a hybrid automobile that relies on a small internal combustion engine and electricity (from batteries).

Alternative Fuels and Technologies

Conversion to alternative fuels and technologies can help reduce on-campus emissions, but the reductions will not be dramatic. However, there may be other compelling reasons to switch to electric, biodiesel, or compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles to improve local or regional air pollution and create educational opportunities around transportation and transportation technologies. Hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, CNG, biodiesel, and low-emission diesel can all be useful on campus. Fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol, or a mix of the bio-based fuel with the petroleum, can be substituted for diesel or gasoline. Among the challenges are the availability of fuels and charging stations. Biodiesel Biodiesel is a fuel made from renewable sources that can be produced domestically. It is essentially vegetable oil that meets the ASTM D6751 industry standard as well as EPA emission standards. It can be used alone (commonly known as B100) or as a blend with diesel fuel. The most common blend...

Repairing the Damage Wreaked by Fossil Fuel

Fossil fuels will grow more expensive due to supply difficulties and growing demand prospecting, production and processing cost increases as the global hunt for combustibles enters increasingly marginal regions but also due to growing carbon penalties. The intern-alization of external costs brought about by increased incidences of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or oil spills, also awaits implementation China's air pollution levels cause an annual US 50 billion in health damage and US 70 billion are expended in such costs each year across Europe (Geller 2002). The lowering of conventional energy subsidies, too, can help build local renewable energy markets and be a boost to the profitable world of efficiency and conservation. Such energy transitions boost employment in renewable, more labour productive industries (Kammen 2004). In spatial planning, a number of measures can be taken to lower the risks of climate change. These involve transport policy and technology changes, regional...

The Use Of Energy From Fossil Fuels Continues To Increase

According to British Petroleum's Statistical Review of World Energy (2006), global use of energy has doubled since the 1970s, from about 5 million metric tons of oil equivalent to 10.5 million, more than 90 percent of it from fossil fuels. In the United States in 2004, the average person used 7.9 metric tons of oil equivalent, 3.8 in the United Kingdom, 1.0 in China, and 0.11 in Bangladesh (Hillman and Fawcett, 2007, 38-40). gases. Sometimes these manufactured goods (such as automobiles) also produce waste heat and greenhouse gases as they are operated. Warming provoked by greenhouse gases remains in the air for many years, sometimes centuries. An upward trend in temperatures would continue for at least the next 100 years even if fossil fuel consumption were reduced sharply today. Fossil fuel burning is increasing most rapidly in China and other developing areas, especially India, as populations and industrial production per capita (per person) rises. Consumption of fossil fuels is...

Evaporation of liquid fuels and solvents Fossil fuel and biomass burning

Durst Low Migration Inks

Activity, we note that many of the other gases involved also come from activities whose central pollutant product is CO2. Thus, focusing on CO2 will also reduce emissions of other ghgs. Table 1.1 illustrates this point (from Grubb, 1989 6). The sources of some of the methane, some of the nitrous oxide, and most of the ozone precursors, all come from fossil fuel burning which accounts for approximately 80 per cent of the CO2 emissions (a percentage which depends on assessments of rates of deforestation). Thus the logic is to focus on fossil fuel energy production in addressing global warming, a logic which has informed the climate strategies of most states and environmental groups. And a brief consideration of the politics of energy, in particular in industrialised countries, reveals a clear idea as to why global warming becomes politically so problematic. The IPCC stated that CO2 emissions would need to be reduced immediately by over 60 per cent if concentrations were to be stabilised...

To what extent are biofuels driving up the price of food

Soaring global food prices have recently sparked riots in many countries, including Haiti, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Philippines and Indonesia. Food prices accelerated sharply in 2008, with grain prices more than doubling since January 2006. Over 60 of the rise in food prices has occurred since January 2008. Competition from biofuels production is one of many factors contributing to higher food prices. Other factors include The recent increase in biofuels production has certainly boosted the demand for specific crops and, in some countries, has displaced land that could have been used for growing food. However two of the commodities most often associated with today's food crisis, wheat and rice, are not major sources of biofuel feedstocks. On the other hand, higher prices for crude oil, gas and electricity have greatly affected the cost of producing, processing and transporting food worldwide. The US Government Accountability Office concludes that food aid organisations...

The Least Bad Fossil Fuel

Unfortunately, dramatic increases in natural gas use inthe U.S. and othercountries have driven up the cost of the fuel. Forthe past decade, natural gas has been the fastest-growing source of fossil-fuel energy, and it now supplies almost 20 percent of America's electricity. At the same time, the price of natural gas has risen from an average of 2.50 to 3 per million Btu in 1997 to more than 7 per million Btu today.

Brief History of Alternative Fuels

The history of alternative fuels goes back to the very first days of the car industry. In 1900, more than half the cars were running on ethanol, steam, and electricity.9 Many of Karl Benz's early diesel engines ran on peanut oil, a biofuel. Henry Ford's first car ran on alcohol, and his wife, Clara, drove an electric vehicle. Thomas Edison invested considerable time and money in improving batteries. Electric vehicles were the safest, quietest cars on the road. Back then, petroleum fuels were considered dangerous and in limited supply. It wasn't obvious that petroleum would dominate. But all that changed in 1901, when oil was struck at the Spindletop oil field near Beaumont, Texas, tripling U.S. oil production overnight. Several other similar gushers were found nearby in the following months. The system has now become so captive to oil that alternative fuels face huge barriers in trying to penetrate the market. Throughout the twentieth century, oil retained at least a 97 percent market...

US Corn Ethanol Special Interests Steamroll the Public Good

The U.S. corn ethanol story in some ways shadows the Brazilian experience. The United States also began subsidizing ethanol production in the 1970s. Corn was the lowest cost feedstock available and it soon dominated ethanol fuel production. The subsidies started out at 40 cents per gallon in 1978 and grew over time. American corn ethanol turned out to be quite expensive, substantially more than Brazilian sugarcane ethanol. Corn requires much more energy for farming and doesn't generate nearly as much crop residue to use as boiler fuel in the distilleries (or to co-generate electricity) although it does produce a valuable high-protein by-product that can be used as animal feed. Over time, corn growers joined forces with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), a large privately held food trading and processing company. ADM produced more than 50 percent of all the fuel ethanol in the United States during the first 20 years of the industry and remains the largest supplier to this day. Founded in...

Overreliance On Fossil Fuels

The major sources of energy have changed dramatically during the last century or so. Wood was the dominant source before the 20th century. In industrialized countries, wood gave way to coal, which in many places eventually gave way to oil. Estimates of what percentage of the world's total energy expenditure comes from the burning of fossil fuels vary somewhat, but are in agreement that it is high. Davis (1990) gave 78 Gibbons, Blair, and Gwin (1989) gave 88 . McKibben (1990) said simply, Over the last century a human life has become a machine for burning petroleum (p. 144). Oppenheimer and Boyle (1990) estimated that today oil accounts for about 38 of the energy used worldwide, coal accounts for about 30 and natural gas for about 20 . Gibbons, Blair, and Gwin (1989) pointed out that the amount of fossil fuel expended worldwide in a single year took nature about 1 million years to produce. The consumption of fossil fuels and the high-temperature smelting of metallic ores are the major...

Palm Oil Methyl Esters As Diesel Substitute

Biodiesel has gained much attention in recent years due to increasing environmental awareness. Biodiesel is produced from renewable plant resources and thus does not contribute to the net increase of carbon dioxide. From 1996 to 2004, the biodiesel production capacity in the European Union (EU) has increased by a factor of four from 591,000 t to a total of 2.355 million t (Bockey, 2002 Bockey, 2004). Further utilization of biodiesel is anticipated due to the initiative of the respective authorities to promote biodiesel and the high cost of petroleum diesel. For example, by the end of 2005, at least 2 (about 3.1 million t) of fossil fuels will be replaced by biofuels (biodiesel, bioethanol, biogas, biomethanol, etc.) in all EU countries. This minimum target quantity has been set out in the EU commission action plan, and the proportion will be increased annually by 0.75 to reach 5.75 (about 17.5 million t) in the year 2010 (Bockey and Korbitz, 2002 Markolvitz, 2002 Schope and...

Hydrogen and carbon content in fossil fuels

All fossil fuels are composed of hydrogen and carbon (among other things that don't factor into the combustion energy production phase), hence the term hydrocarbons to refer to these energy sources. The vast proportion of the useable energy comes from hydrogen, whereas the carbon generates the vast majority of the waste. When carbon burns completely in an oxygen atmosphere (such as the earth's), the product is a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas blamed for global warming. Other byproducts of fossil fuel combustion are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), and various particulates like mercury that cause undue environmental harm. Because energy is derived from the hydrogen content of a particular fossil fuel and waste is related to the carbon content, it's of interest to look at the different fossil fuels and their relative proportions of hydrogen and carbon. Fuels with a high carbon-hydrogen rate are limited in how low a pollution may be obtained via...

Fuel Cells Based on Other Fuels and Biofuel Cells

Biofuel cells use biocatalysts for the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy. As most organic materials undergo combustion with the evolution of energy, the biocatalyzed oxidation of organic substances by oxygen or other oxidizers at two-electrode interfaces provides a means for the conversion of chemical to electrical energy. Abundant organic raw materials such as ethanol, hydrogen sulfide, organic acids or glucose can be used as substrates for these oxidation process, while molecular oxygen or H2O2 can be reduced. Intermediate formation of hydrogen as a potential fuel is also possible. Biofuel cells can use biocatalysts, enzymes or even whole-cell organisms. The power produced in such devices are miniscule (microwatt to nanowatt range), although such devices have potential uses as chemical and biological sensors. methanol offers the same flexibility as on natural gas and distillate fuels, including the ability to start, stop, accelerate and decelerate rapidly,...

Biofuels by Peter Balash NETL

Bioethanol is produced as a transportation fuel largely in only two countries. In 2003 the US produced about 2.8 billion gallons and Brazil produced 3.5 billion gallons. All of this ethanol is produced by conversion of starch to sugar and fermentation to ethanol. In the US ethanol represents about 1.4 of the BTU content (2.0 by volume) of gasoline used in transportation. Current costs for ethanol production in the US are said to be 0.90 per gallon,148 which is equivalent to a gasoline price of 1.35 per gallon. Because of recent increases in energy costs current costs will be somewhat higher. Grain ethanol provides only a modest net energy gain because of the energy required to produce it. USdA calculated a net energy gain of 34 for a modern corn to ethanol plant,149 but there is considerable controversy over the real efficiency of the process. Most of the energy used to produce ethanol comes from natural gas and electricity. The production of ethanol uses only about 5 of the corn crop...

Box Cargill Invests In Biodiesel Production In Europe

Cargill, a U.S.-based global food and agriculture company recently announced its acquisition of a 25 percent stake in Greenergy Biofuels Ltd. in the United Kingdom. Tesco owns 25 percent of Greenergy Fuels, which owns the other 75 percent of Greenergy Biofuels. Tesco is the leading biofuel retailer in the United Kingdom, offering biofuel blends at more than 40 percent of the petrol stations attached to its supermarkets. Greenergy Biofuels is building a 100,000-ton (114 million-liter) capacity biodiesel production plant at Immingham on Humberside. There are plans to develop additional production facilities near Liverpool, where Cargill already operates a seed crushing plant. This partnership thus fully integrates the biodiesel business from provision of the raw materials, through manufacturing and retailing. Cargill also has plans to produce biodiesel in Belgium and Germany. The transformation of the energy chain is clearly the heart of the matter. This can be done via incentives to...

Sustainable fossil fuels

It is an inescapable reality that fossil fuels will continue to be an important part of the energy mix for decades to come. We explored in the last three chapters the main technologies and lifestyle changes for reducing power consumption. We found that we could halve the power consumption of transport (and de-fossilize it) by switching to electric vehicles. We found that we could shrink the power consumption of heating even more (and de-fossilize it) by insulating all buildings better and using electric heat pumps instead of fossil fuels. So yes, we can reduce consumption. But still, matching even this reduced consumption with power from Britain's own renewables looks very challenging (figure 18.7, p109). It's time to discuss non-renewable options for power production. Take the known reserves of fossil fuels, which are overwhelmingly coal 1600 Gt of coal. Share them equally between six billion people, and burn them sustainably What do we mean if we talk about using up a finite...

Cost of switching from fossil fuels to renewables

Every wind farm costs a few million pounds to build and delivers a few megawatts. As a very rough ballpark figure in 2008, installing one watt of capacity costs one pound one kilowatt costs 1000 pounds a megawatt of wind costs a million a gigawatt of nuclear costs a billion or perhaps two. Other renewables are more expensive. We (the UK) currently consume a total power of roughly 300 GW, most of which is fossil fuel. So we can anticipate that a major switching from fossil fuel to renewables and or nuclear is going to require roughly 300 GW of renewables and or nuclear and * photovoltaic farm biofuels * photovoltaic farm biofuels Blue blobs in the sea (Blackpool and the Wash) tidal lagoons. Light-green land areas woods and short-rotation coppices (to scale). Yellow-green areas biofuel (to scale). Small blue triangles waste incineration plants (not to scale). Big brown diamonds clean coal power stations, with cofiring of biomass, and carbon capture and storage (not to scale). Purple...

Water Released by Oxidation of Fossil Fuels and Vegetation

Fossil fuel combustion and cement production Tropical deforestation Total sources C02 sinks The three dominant fossil fuel types emit C02 in the following proportions 0.16 (natural gas), 0.43 (liquid), and 0.41 (solid fuels) (after Marland and Boden, 1993), corresponding to emissions of 0.81, 2.28, and 2.14 GT C yr, respectively (1 GT 1015 g). These values can be used to estimate the volumes of water produced. (See Gornitz et al., 1997, for details of calculation.) The mass of C02 released by burning natural gas (methane) is 2.97 GT C02 yr, which is equivalent to 2.43 km3 yr HzO or 0.0068 mm yr SLR. Combustion of petroleum yields 8.36 X GT C02 yr, which is equivalent to 3.63 km3 yr H20 or 0.01 mm yr SLR. Burning coal generates 7.8 GT C02 yr, equivalent to 1.3 km3 yr H20 or 0.004 mm yr SLR. The total water released by fossil fuel combustion is therefore equivalent to a SLR of 0.021 mm yr (Table 5.5). The world's oceans absorb around 2.0 GT C yr of C02 released by fossil fuel emissions...

Geopolitics of fossil fuels

Just a few decades ago the fossil fuel reserves and resources were considered to provide a guaranteed secure long-term supply of energy and thus also a peaceful development of global society. Even though warnings appeared during the early 1990s, it was not generally recognised until about the turn of the century that a shortage of conventional oil might not be that far away. Accordingly, this possibility was not considered much when the Kyoto Protocol on climate change was agreed in 1997. I will first focus on reserves and resources of fossil fuels because of their likely continued use for many years. Table 13.2 gives a summary of global reserves, resources and additional occurrences of fossil fuels in terms of the potential carbon dioxide emissions if these are used as fuel to provide energy. The estimated reserves are reasonably trustworthy, while the resources listed are considerably more uncertain.14 Table 13.2. Global reserves, resources and additional occurrences of fossil fuels...

Palm Oil As Diesel Substitute

Many researchers have investigated the possibility of using vegetable oils (straight or blended) as a diesel substitute. A good account of their attempts was reported in the 1983 JAOCS Symposium on Vegetable Oils as Diesel Fuels (Klopfenstein and Walker, 1983 Pryde 1983 Strayer et al., 1983). The symposium revealed that vegetable oils have good potential as alternative fuels if some problems could be overcome satisfactorily. These include high viscosity, low volatility, and the reactivity (polymerization) of the unsaturated hydrocarbon chains if the oil is highly unsaturated. These will give rise to coking on the fuel injectors, carbon deposits, oil ring sticking, and thickening and gelling of the lubricating oil as a result of contamination with vegetable oil. Various blends of crude palm oil and palm oil products such as refined, bleached, and deodorized palm olein with medium fuel oil (MFO) and petroleum diesel, respectively, have been evaluated as boiler fuels and diesel...

The New Edisons From Dot Com Millionaires to Biofuel Pioneers

Biofuels are a new generation of carbon chains and may be fairly considered fresh energy sources. They are fresh in the sense that they are not the product of millions of years of compression beneath millions of Biofuels are based on the principle that humankind can break apart what photosynthesis has put together. Unlike fossilized carbon, which must be mined from the earth and then is sent into the atmosphere, biofuels pull carbon from the air, recycling it back into plant matter as they build the sugars and fibers that become fuel. That wonderful process, in which chlorophyll acts as a matchmaker between carbon dioxide and sunlight, is the foundation of life on this planet. With no photosynthesis, there is no food. Carbohydrates are like vegetable energy-storage packets. That's why we eat them. But new technologies allow us to break up the cells encapsulating the precious carbon and burn that carbon in the form of ethanol, biodiesel, butanol, and other exotic fuels. Some of those...

Does Enough Fossil Fuel Exist to Meet Future Needs

Fossil fuels oil, natural gas, coal exist in finite amounts. Some 200 to 500 million years ago, fossil fuels started as remains of plants and animals that were covered by layer after layer of sand and sediment. Under intense pressure and high temperatures, the remains were crushed, and converted into oil, gas, and coal. Once these fuels are pumped or dug out of the ground, they will be gone forever. Fossil fuels are a nonrenewable source of energy. Since they can't be renewed, scientists, government leaders, and average citizens need to be aware of how many years' worth of fossil fuels are left to be mined. The United States's economy and way of life and those of other countries around the world largely depend on the availability of fossil fuels. Despite the cost of getting them out of the ground, fossil fuels produce the most energy for the least amount of money. There has therefore been little motivation to exploit other types of energy.A few nuclear power plants exist, but they...

Fossil Fuels And Global Warming

Oil and coal are commonly referred to as fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels is one of the leading contributors to global warming. Fossil fuels are made up almost entirely of carbon. In the case of oil, there are other toxic materials that when burned, or when the fumes are inhaled, are known to cause cancer in humans. When coal is burned to generate electricity or oil is burned in the form of gasoline or diesel fuel for transportation, carbon is released into the atmosphere in the form of CO2. In developed countries, such as the United States, fossil fuels are the principal sources of energy that are used for fuel, electricity, heat, and air-conditioning. In fact, more than 86 percent of the energy used worldwide originates from fossil fuel combustion. Although for years fossil fuels have been readily available and convenient, they have also played a major role in climate change and global warming. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, fossil fuel use in the United...

Living in the Dark Ages of Fossil Fuels

Around, you probably meet most of your energy needs by burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Burning these fossil fuels releases large amounts of greenhouse gases (we talk about those gases in Chapter 2). In fact, just over two-thirds of human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere come directly from burning fossil fuels. In this chapter, we examine the types of fossil fuels, look at how people use them in their day-to-day lives, and assess fossil fuels' overall contribution to climate change.

Resistance to Alternative Fuels

For the past century, gasoline and diesel derived from oil have been the least-cost option for consumers. As documented in chapters 4 and 5, other fuels can't even get a toehold in the marketplace. By 2006, alternative fuels made Consumers are extravagant in their use of petroleum fuels because they have few incentives to do otherwise, and for the most part they haven't been asked to do otherwise. Since the 1980s, U.S. consumers have shrugged off methanol, natural gas, and electricity as alternatives. Methanol was ignored as the price of oil fell following the second oil crisis, and ethanol has thrived only as a gasoline-blended component. Biodiesel and hydrogen are the newest entrants and they still have microscopic market shares. Familiarity definitely plays a big role in gasoline's staying power. Consumers have no real incentive to learn the vagaries of new fuels how to refuel, maintain, or drive an alternative-fuel car nor do they have the incentive to risk trying something...

On The Oil Industry Alcohol Fuels And Energy Resources

The Promise of Methanol Fuel Cell Vehicles. Washington, DC AMI, 2000. Doxon, Lynn Ellen. The Alcohol Fuel Handbook. Haverford, PA Infinity Publishing, 2001. How to make ethanol from a variety of crops. Kemp, William H. Biodiesel Basics and Beyond. Tamworth, ON Aztext Press, 2006. Everything about biodiesel, including how to make your own. P hl, Greg. Biodiesel Growing a New Energy Economy. White River Junction, VT Chelsea Green, 2005.

Alcohol Fuels And World Trade

To see this, let's consider the case of the United States. The United States imports 12 million barrels of oil per day, more than a third of the OPEC total. In 2006 this oil cost us about 260 billion. If we were to spend this on alcohol fuels instead, we could increase the total US farm income of 127 billion by 50 percent and still have around 200 billion left over to pay for alcohol fuel imports derived from third world agriculture. For comparison, US agricultural imports in 2005 totaled 56 billion. Thus, by switching to alcohol, we could quadruple our purchases of third world agricultural goods, while giving US farmers substantially more business, not less. The above analysis is oversimplified in a number of ways. Methanol can be produced from sources other than biomass. So in the absence of tax or tariff policies favoring renewable options for alcohol fuel production, not all of the funds transferred away from the oil cartel would go to agriculture. Furthermore, OPEC nations would...

Alcohol Fuels And The Environment

Roberta Nichols was dedicated to the goal of a clean environment, and so were her friends in the CEC who enabled the large-scale demonstration project that put methanol and flex-fuel cars on the map. I mention this because many in the environmental community today tend to be reactively suspicious, or even axiomatically hostile, to new technologies. It would be both ironic and extremely unfortunate if they, not knowing this history, were to adopt such a stance toward the widespread adoption of methanol fuel today. Methanol-powered cars were an environmentalist baby, advocated by activists in the face of then-existing economic disincentives for their use. There were good and substantial reasons for that advocacy, and they remain valid today. Restating them is extremely important. After all, with methanol producible without a subsidy for as low as 0.93 per gallon (its mid-2007 wholesale price), and gasoline running near 3.00 per gallon, the economic case for switching to methanol now...

Biodiesel Again Not Food

Diesel fuel powers engines in which pressure rather than a spark causes combustion. It 's big in Europe and, thanks to a new generation of quieter, cleaner diesel engines, might see dramatic growth in the United States and elsewhere. So a renewable source of this fuel would have a big potential market. Biodiesel ' s story is similar to that of ethanol Today's version is made from vegetable sources like soy and palm oil. But that's a dead end, for a variety of reasons. First, these sources don't generate the yields per acre necessary to scale up and lower costs. Their trajectory, to use a term that 's becoming popular in clean-tech investing, is insufficiently steep. Second, there are consistency problems when utilizing fuels from different feedstocks, which results in biodiesel with varying properties, quality, and consistency. One 2007 survey of biodiesel samples found that half of them failed to meet basic standards. Third, palm oil comes from the tropics, so ramping up production...

Advanced fossil fuel and nuclear technologies

An essential component of sustainable development in the energy context involves the development of new technologies to make the production and consumption of the principal fossil fuels, oil, natural gas and coal, more environmentally friendly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric pollution. In relation to coal, new advanced technologies such as direct coal liquefaction for synthetic fuels production, pressurised fluidised-bed combustion, and coal integrated gasifier combined cycle plants at high efficiencies have been developed. Significant improvements have occurred in industry in cogeneration plants based on gas turbines and combined cycles.76 Synthetic fuels have been developed in recent times which are useful for alleviating concerns over oil supply security as well as combating atmospheric carbon emissions. Secondary and tertiary oil recovery techniques have ensured that existing oil fields are exploited much more productively than has occurred in the past. Since...

Unchecked Growth in Fossil Fuel Use will Hasten Climate Change

Rising CO2 and other greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere, resulting largely from fossil-energy combustion, are contributing to higher global temperatures and to changes in climate. Growing fossil-fuel use will continue to drive up global energy-related CO2 emissions over the projection period. In the Reference Scenario, emissions jump by 57 between 2005 and 2030. The United States, China, Russia and India contribute two-thirds Urgent action is needed if greenhouse-gas concentrations are to be stabilised at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system. The Alternative Policy Scenario shows that measures currently being considered by governments around the world could lead to a stabilisation of global emissions in the mid-2020s and cut their level in 2030 by 19 relative to the Reference Scenario. OECD emissions peak and begin to decline after 2015. Yet global emissions would still be 27 higher than in 2005. Assuming continued emissions reductions...

The inevitable decline in fossil fuels and transition to alternatives

Cuba has pre-empted what many industrial countries will experience. By their finite nature, there is no debate over whether fossil fuels - oil, gas and coal -will run out, but rather when this will occur, whether alternative energy supplies will meet the ever-increasing demand, and how best to oversee such a transition. Hubbert, the father of the peak oil concept, predicted that US oil production would peak approximately 30 years after the peak of oil discovery (Hubbert, 1956). He was proved to be correct (Deffeyes, 2006), and with the

Fossil Fuels Valuable Chemical Resources

The hydrocarbons from fossil fuels can be use to make products of far greater value than gasoline and fuel oil. These products affect every facet of modern life. They include things as diverse as drugs, paint, plastics, rubber, cloth, and lubricants. These alternate uses provide a strong motivation for terminating the use of hydrocarbons as fuels and preserving them for beneficial future uses.

Fossil Fuel Price Volatility

All of the previously mentioned cost comparisons are susceptible to volatility in fossil fuel prices, which have dramatically increased over the past several decades. This is especially true for crude oil, now a global commodity. Figure 2.8 shows the annual price ofWest Texas Intermediate (WTI), one of the world's price benchmark crude oils, since 1983. Changing geopolitical supply-affecting events and increasing demand have ricocheted prices generally between 20 and 30 per barrel for most of this period, save the last few years when prices have climbed to unheard of levels in excess of 60 a barrel.At these elevated levels, further reliance on oil is having a detrimental effect on the U.S. economy, causing inflation, slowing growth, and endangering our nation's energy security. The extreme price volatility of oil, natural gas, and even coal affects the cost effectiveness of conventional fossil fuel-fired generation assets and creates additional price uncertainty for both power...

Cleaning Compounds And Drugs Use Fossil Fuel Chemicals

Better cleaning products have been developed using chemicals derived from hydrocarbons. These synthetic detergents are carefully tailored to provide excellent cleaning power without the formation of scum. In most applications hydrocarbons derived cleaners have largely replaced soaps made from animal and plant products. Today 80 to 90 of the cleaning compounds used, both in the home and by industries, are based on chemicals derived from fossil fuel hydrocarbons.

Comparing cost Solar Versus fossil fuels

As with any alternative energy source, the question is how does the cost of solar power compare to conventional fossil fuels Current electrical rates around North America range from a low of around six cents per kWh to over 50 cents, particularly in tiered rate structures where a progressive price is applied to the quantity of energy consumption used in a building. The more consumption, the higher the kWh price goes. A rule of thumb in the industry is that solar PV costs around 15 cents per kWh. This includes up-front investment as well as maintenance and lifetime costs. Plus, this assumes best case scenarios, namely a lot of sunshine and good weather. So the fact is, solar PV is not economically competitive with grid power except under certain conditions.

Formation and Composition of Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels are complex mixtures of hydrocarbons formed in a process lasting millions ofyears by decomposition ofbiological matter. Carbon and hydrogen are the main components, but other elements such as sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen and metals are also present in small amounts. At normal temperatures and pressures, these compounds may be gaseous, liquid or solid, depending on the complexity of their molecules. All fossil fuels are derived from biological materials, either marine plankton or terrestrial vegetable matter. The formation of oil and natural gas was initiated in shallow ocean basins, under conditions that favored the growth of plankton and algae. When large numbers of dead marine organisms sank to the ocean floor and were subsequently covered by sediments, they were slowly transformed by processes that were partly due to the biological activity of anaerobic bacteria on the seafloor and partly chemical processes taking place at elevated temperatures and pressures. The...

Potential Fossil Fuels

Another form of fossil fuel that has not been exploited is called shale oil. Shale oil forms when organic material accumulates at the bottom of lakes, is mixed with mud, and then sits for hundreds of millions of years.The Green River Formation, in the U.S. Rocky Mountains, contains between 0.6 and 2 trillion barrels of oil. That is a lot of oil. However, removing oil from oil shale is a very expensive process. Unless the cost of recovering the oil comes down below the cost of other fuels, shale oil is not likely to be viewed as a viable energy source. However, the supply will last for a long time. Tar sands are another fossil fuel source. Tar sands contain a hydrocarbon (HYE-druh-kahr-bun) called bitumen (buh-TYOO-mun), which can be burned. There are large amounts of tar sands waiting to be tapped one deposit alone, located in Alberta, Canada, is reported to contain about 300 billion barrels of oil but there are problems with mining tar sands. To begin with, it takes more energy to...

What Are Fossil Fuels

The term fossil fuels encompasses a spectrum of mineral organic compounds extracted from the earth. These are outlined in Table 1.1. They range from solids to liquids and gases. They include coal, petroleum, shale oil, tar sands and natural gas. Each of the generic names describes a group of materials, often with widely differing properties. Coal is always a solid. It can be hard or soft and high or low in ash or sulfur. Many coals contain highly toxic mercury, selenium, arsenic and beryllium. Petroleum is always a liquid. Its appearance ranges from a straw colored fluid similar to motor oil to a black tar-like material that must be heated before it will flow. Oil always contains some sulfur but the concentration range can be very wide. Shale oil and tar sands are liquid petroleum absorbed in rock or sand. Shale oil and tar sand oil usually have low sulfur content. Gas has various amounts of methane, ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene, butane, 1-butene, 2-butene, isobutane, carbon...

Biofuels And Clean Vehicles

It is well understood that one of the biggest contributors to global warming is the burning of fossil fuels and that the United States is one of the largest contributors to the problem. Transportation-related emissions are responsible for 40 percent of the U.S. total global warming pollution. Because of this large contribution, this is one area where people can make a significant difference. One way is by conserving and driving less, combining multiple errands into one trip, and by using new technology more efficient vehicles and lower carbon fuels (fuels that generate far less heat-trapping gases per unit of energy). Hydrogen, electricity, and biofuels all have this capability. This also helps national security by reducing the country's dependence on foreign oil. There is a wide range of characteristics among each alternative fuel type and their unique environmental emissions, if any, and their environmental impacts. Standards are currently being developed that will require fuel...

The US and fossil fuels

In the United States, domestic supplies of fossil fuels are dwindling and demand cannot be met at the rate of consumption growth that it's experiencing. Even if new reserves exceed expectations and next-generation oil and gas recovery technologies significantly improve, supply and demand are going to be imbalanced. 60 percent fossil fuels

Examining the Different Types of Fossil Fuels

Coal, oil, and natural gas are all fossil fuels, but they're not all the same. They differ in how they're used, how much they're used, the greenhouse gases that they release when they're burned, and even where they come from. When land plants, such as trees, decomposed hundreds of millions of years ago, they pressed together into a solid form known as coal. Plants and animals in the oceans decomposed in a similar way sinking to the bottom of the ocean, getting buried under sediments, forming peat, and eventually being compressed into fossil fuels such as oil. Each type of fossil fuel has a different amount of carbon in it, so it puts a different amount of carbon dioxide into the air when it's burned. Coal releases the most carbon dioxide when burned, natural gas the least. In the following sections, we take a closer look at the different types of fossil fuels, starting with the worst offender, coal, and working our way down to natural gas.

The end of Fossil Fuels

Steve Lohr, a reporter for the New York Times, remarked In the very long term, environmental experts say, the world's economy needs a technological transformation, from deriving 90 percent of its energy from fossil fuels today to being largely free of emissions from fossil fuels by 2100, through cleanup steps or alternative energy sources.14 Much has been written about alternatives to oil, gas, and coal as energy sources. Even though alternatives are promising, each has significant drawbacks. Nuclear power requires huge capital investments to build plants nuclear plants are considered dangerous because of the risk of escaping radiation or fear of a terrorist attack and few Americans want a plant built near their community. Solar and wind power have reliability problems since solar energy is unavailable at night and the wind does not always blow at the right speed to provide power. Hydrogen power is still in the planning stages, and most current technology uses fossil fuels as part of...

Summary of Fossil Fuel Reserves

Even though there are widely differing views and estimates of the ultimately recoverable resources of fossil fuels, it is fair to say that they may last for around 50-150 years with a peak in production occurring much earlier. However, a big concern is the climatic threat of additional carbon that will be released into the atmosphere. According to the estimates from the IEA, if the present shares of fossil fuels are maintained up to 2030 without any carbon sequestration, a cumulative amount of approximately 1000 gigatons of carbon will be released into the atmosphere (based on Figure 1.7). This is especially troublesome in view of the fact that the present total cumulative emissions of about 300 gigatons of carbon have already raised serious concerns about global climate change.

Fossil fuels and energy

The Sun bathes the Earth in an immense amount of energy, but most of humankind's energy sources derive from stored energy sources such as fossil fuels or radioactive elements rather than instantaneous solar energy. Of the fossil fuels, coal is the most abundant whereas oil is more limited and may be depleted in the coming decades. The amount of natural gas as traditionally extracted is comparable with that of oil, but there is an immense amount of gas frozen in ocean sediments. If we wish to stabilize the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere in the coming century, we need some major new carbon-free source of energy, of a size comparable to our total energy production today or larger.

Advanced fossil fuel technologies

The Framework recognises that although fossil fuels will continue to be the primary energy supply option worldwide, they must be used more efficiently and their negative environmental impacts must be reduced at the local, regional and global level. This challenge also requires technology transfers from industrial to developing countries. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) included in the Kyoto Protocol is cited as a major incentive for industry leadership in this area.111 Also, private-sector organisations are seen as playing an important role in facilitating consensus building on public-private partnerships and interregional cooperation in the area of advanced fossil fuels.

Atmospheric Damage Caused By Fossil Fuels

The recovery, shipment and handling of hydrocarbons cause damage to the land and sea. After recovery, the combustion of fossil fuels causes damage to the atmosphere. The major reason for damage is fact that the process is open ended. Fossil fuels are recovered, reacted with oxygen from the atmosphere to product energy. The solid waste is disposed of in landfills. The gaseous waste products (carbon dioxide, water and toxins) are irreversibly vented into the atmosphere. The air pollution produced by the combustion harms the air in three different ways 1- Immediate short-term air pollution (commonly referred to as smog), 2- Acid rain, and 3- Carbon dioxide.

Energy Fossil Fuels and Global Warming

Global warming is the most urgent environmental challenge of the 21st century. Because of the world's continued dependence on fossil fuels as an energy source, greenhouse gas levels are steadily increasing in the atmosphere and warming the Earth. If corrective action is not taken now, temperatures will continue to rise, causing the worldwide destruction of ecosystems and extinction of species. The biggest contributor to warming the atmosphere is the excessive use of fossil fuels for energy. If more efficient technologies are not employed and clean, renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar energy, fuel cells, or geothermal energy are not substituted for fossil fuels, there will be no hope of bringing global warming under control. This chapter discusses energy's connection to global warming and why fossil fuels are such major contributors to the problem.

Pollutants From Fossil Fuels

Air pollution today is largely caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Primary pollutants enter the atmosphere directly, from a smokestack or tailpipe. Secondary pollutants form from a chemical reaction between a primary pollutant and some other component of air, such as water vapor or another pollutant. Ozone is the major secondary pollutant. Fossil fuels come from decayed and transformed ancient organisms. Plants store CO2 in their bodies, so plant materials that have been converted to fossil fuels emit CO2 when burned. The two major types of fossil fuels are coal and petroleum. Coal forms in swamps, where plants grow and die in rapid succession. The plant bodies accumulate so quickly that little oxygen can get to them and they do not decay Petroleum forms in ocean regions, primarily along the margins of the continents, where plankton tiny plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton) flourish. When these organisms die, they fall to the sea floor and are buried by sediment. If...

Physical Damage From Extraction Of Fossil Fuels

The environmental damage from fossil fuels begins with the mining or extraction. Fossil fuels are found in a variety of geological formations. These range from surface deposits of coal, oil shale and tar sands to oil pools kilometers below the bottom of oceans. The recovery of all categories of fossil fuels results in damage. Some recovery processes are more damaging, some are less, but the effects are similar. The damage from the recovery of fossil fuels is a worldwide problem however, this chapter focuses on conditions within the United States. Conditions in other places may differ in detail and degree, but the harmful effects of fossil fuel recovery are similar throughout the world.''2'3'4 The fine fluffy spent shale has a much larger volume than the original compacted shale. It greatly over fills the cavity produced by the mining. Because of the large volume, most disposal plans include piling it up near the place it is produced. The areas where Green River Shale deposits are...

Fossil Fuel Consumption

The main source of all the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the burning of fossil fuels. These include coal, oil in all its refined forms, and natural gas. All these fuels contain a lot of carbon. This chart shows that the annual consumption of fossil fuels varies by region and by country. The biggest consumers of fossil fuels are the United States, China, and the European Union. Coal produces far more carbon dioxide per unit of energy than the other fuels, so countries that burn a lot of coal, such as China, have a bigger impact on the climate than countries that burn more gas.

Quick Look at Fuels from the Fossil Fuel Era and Beyond

Under huge pressures and amidst the Earth's core heat, decayed and decaying organic materials formed complex compounds primarily composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms. These complex, carbon-based compounds are more commonly referred to as fossil fuels. The three most commonly available fossil fuels are coal, petroleum, and natural gas. The following sections outline basic information about each type of energy both fossil and nonfossil fuels as well as an overview of the world's use of these energies. You can find more detailed info about fossil fuel sources in Chapter 5 and the chapters in Parts III and IV are devoted to explaining alternative energy sources.

Energy Sourcesfossil Fuels

Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, derived from coal and petroleum (fuel oil or natural gas). They are formed from the fossilized remains of buried plants and animals that have been subjected to the heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years. Fossil fuels also include substances like oil shale and tar sands, which contain hydrocarbons that are not derived solely from biological sources. These are referred to as mineral fuels. Today, most of the developed world's industry relies heavily on fossil fuels to produce the energy needed in the manufacture of goods and services. The heat derived from burning fossil fuels is also used for heating and converted to mechanical energy for vehicles and electrical power generation. We now realize that the burning of fossil fuels is the largest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Sadly, their use is steadily increasing. One of the biggest dilemmas we face today is that China, in its race to modernize and...

Advantages and Uses of Fossil Fuels

What enabled the fossil fuel industries to attain such a dominant position in the global energy market in such a short time The main reason is the fact that fossil fuels constitute excellent energy sources with a very high specific energy. One tonne of oil equivalent equals 42.7 gigajoules, one thousand cubic meters of natural gas approximately 37 gigajoules and one tonne of coal 25 gigajoules. One million tonnes of oil produces about 4.5 terawatt-hours of electricity in a modern power plant. The high energy density of fossil fuels is paired with good combustion characteristics which make oil and natural gas products ideal fuels for specialized combustion systems, such as the spark ignition (Otto) engine and the ignition compression (Diesel) engine. Moreover, many fossil fuels are in the liquid state at ambient temperatures and atmospheric pressure, which allows convenient handling, storage and transportation. Their relatively low cost and good availability are further advantages....

Nonconventional fossil fuels

We have seen in the previous chapter that there will be considerable pressure on conventional fossil fuel reserves over the next few decades. Demand for oil in particular will experience substantial annual growth, and it will be difficult to maintain the recent historical reserves-to-production ratio of around 40. There is a need, therefore, to develop new or non-conventional sources of fossil fuels to supplement the traditional crude oil supplies. These will likely be needed until at least the end of the twenty-first century, when extensive supplies of truly renewable, or sustainable, primary energy should be available in sufficient quantities to satisfy most global energy demand. In the near-term these new sources of fossil fuels include the unlocking of synthetic oil from the extensive oil sands and oil shale deposits found in many parts of the world, and the extraction of natural gas from unused coal seams, known as coal-bed methane. In the longer term the use of fossil fuels in a...

Fossil Fuel Emission Effects on Human Health and Ecosystems

Alternatives to fossil fuels are being considered because of the seriousness of environmental risks and economic hazards from continuing fossil fuel use. The 1990s have seen three separate policy assessments in the United States involving the effects of emissions from fossil fuel use damages and risks from acid deposition (the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program),2 an evaluation of ground-level ozone and aerosol particulate health risks (carried out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA ),3 and the assessment of climate change impacts, first by the Office of Technology Assessment4 and recently by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Combustion of coal and oil is a well-known source of nitrogen and sulfur oxides. These gases are the precursors of fine particles (aerosols) in the lower atmosphere that reduce visibility, cause corrosion, and wash out in precipitation as acid rain. In addition, high positive correlations have been known for years between...

The effect of sanctions on prices of quotas fossil fuels and emissionintensive goods

The imposition of sanctions on a country found to be in non-compliance could affect the prices of quotas, fossil fuels and emission-intensive goods12 regardless of which strategy the non-compliant party adopts - that is, whether it chooses to withdraw or comply - but the price effects would differ. We would expect that the degree to which sanctioning affects prices would depend on the non-compliant country's expected volume of quota sales and its balance of export and import of fossil fuel products and emission-intensive goods. Second, the pattern of export or import of various fossil fuel products could be of importance for the price effects of the sanctions on these products. If the non-complying country chooses to withdraw from the agreement, its consumption of fossil fuels may increase, or decrease more slowly, if it considers itself no longer bound by its Kyoto emission-reduction commitment. If the country has a more than an insignificant share of total world consumption of...

The role of fossil fuels

While our aim is to reduce as rapidly as possible the share of fossil fuels in the world primary energy supply, substantially reducing the amount of energy consumed and deploying renewable energy sources will take time. What can the role of fossil fuels be during this transition period and how can they contribute to help in achieving a transition aimed at their disappearance Furthermore, is the objective to widen and diversify fossil fuel sources reconcilable with the need to reduce CO2 emissions Considering only coal, its proven reserves presently amount to around 900 billion tonnes, which means that 3700 billion tonnes of CO2 will be produced, if this coal is consumed. This is much more than the total emissions of carbon which might be acceptable during the next fifty years, if we want to keep to the objective of a mean temperature increase below 2 C. Three reasons have to be taken into account for maintaining substantial efforts in the area of fossil fuels - As has already been...

Fossil Fuels A Source Of International Conflict

The author has only a nonprofessional's knowledge of international relations. Despite the lack of detailed understanding of all the elements of these interactions, it is clear that competition over access to fossil fuel resources has the potential to destabilize the world. Some areas are already finding reasons to threaten war over oil. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Iran are threatening each other over control of the Alov oil field in the middle of the Caspian Sea. 61 In near future 1.2 billion Chinese and 1 billion Indians will want energy to improve their economies. 62 They will compete with the United States, Japan and The European Union for these resources. This competition has the potential to lead to lethal confrontations. Adopting a source of energy other than fossil fuel should greatly reduce the potential for international conflict. Unfortunately, terminating the use of fossil fuels will not eliminate all International conflicts. The proceeding paragraph was written before...

Replacing the Fossil Fuel Carbon Cycles with Hydrogen

Fossil fuel combustion Tropical deforestation excrement. This concept and a more extended form of the carbon cycle, including fossil fuel usage, is shown in Fig. 3.4. Carbon-rich fossil fuels, oil, coal and natural gas, are extracted from the near surface of the earth and burned as energy sources. The combustion of fossil fuels produces large quantities of carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur together with soot. Since the Industrial Revolution the proportion of these gases in the atmosphere has increased, accompanied by a corresponding rise in the global average near surface temperature the greenhouse effect.1 Typical carbon fluxes associated with the major components of the cycle are shown in Table 3.5. The only significant natural absorption mechanism for excess carbon dioxide is via vegetation and this is not able to keep pace with the rate of fossil fuel-generated emissions. Equally serious are the geological timescales needed for the plant life cycle to replace the...

Rising to the Challenge Balancing Fossil Fuel Use with Appropriate Alternatives

You solve energy problems by expending even more energy, not less. You need to devise alternatives that offset fossil fuel addictions, and invention and development take a lot of energy. Infrastructure takes energy. All human advancement requires energy in increasing amounts. Because the only consensus seems to be that fossil fuels are not the answer, you have to wonder what form this energy will take in the future. The following sections provide an overview of the alternatives as well as factors to consider when choosing alternative sources of energy. This book is all about alternatives to the status quo. Alternatives are not the end all they will never displace fossil fuels. The solution lies in a combination of doing better with fossil fuel use and developing alternatives when that's appropriate. In Parts III and IV, I describe the alternative technologies in detail, explaining when these technologies are useful and when they're not. Alternatives will require sacrifices not only in...

Box Coal Based Alternative Fuels

Coal-to-liquid projects are attracting particular attention. Shenhua Group is building the first direct coal liquefaction plant of 60 000 b d, with a planned investment of 3 billion. The company is also planning at least two additional projects of roughly the same size. There are about twenty coal-to-oil projects under construction or under consideration, involving total investment of 15 billion and estimated capacity of16 million tonnes of oil. The government has recently become more cautious about coal-to-chemical and coal-to-liquid plants because they consume, and often pollute, large quantities of water (see Spotlight in Chapter 11). Also, the CO2 implications will be onerous unless take-up of CO2 capture and storage technology takes place. Alternatives to coal-based fuels include bioethanol, biodiesel and hydrogen. However, those options have drawbacks of their own. Although there are still barriers to be overcome, prospects for widespread commercialisation of alternative...

Fossil Fuelbased Plastics Pe I

Looking for new products based on corn sugar was a natural extension of Cargill's activities within the existing corn-wet-milling industry, which converts corn grain to products such as high-fructose corn syrup, citric acid, vegetable oil, bioethanol and animal feed. In 1999 this industry processed almost 39 million tons of corn roughly 15 percent of the entire U.S. harvest for that year. Indeed, Cargill Dow earlier this year launched a 300-million effort to begin mass-producing its new plastic, Nature-Works PLA, by the end of 2001 see box on page 40 . In response to the oil crises of the 1970s, Imperial Chemical Industries established an industrial-scale fermentation process in which microorganisms busily converted plant sugar into several tons of PHA a year. Other companies molded the plastic into commercial items such as biodegradable razors and shampoo bottles and sold them in niche markets, but this plastic turned out to cost substantially more than its fossil fuel-based...

The Fossil Fuel Sector And Energy Security

Nuclear and hydro aside, climate change creates winners and losers within the fossil fuel sector - a point often overlooked. Gas is advantaged in relation to black coal, as is oil, and black coal in relation to brown coal (or lignite). Various fossil fuels have a differing carbon content, and so switching to a lower carbon fuel -where possible - is in most circumstances the most painless way of achieving substantial reductions in the emission of CO2. Such switching is least likely, at this time, in the transport sector but affects electricity generation greatly. As oil companies are frequently owners of gas resources, which is a co-product of oil or a product frequently found during oil exploration, the willingness of most oil companies to adopt a position on the climate change issue which environmentalists might favour and the split of corporations such as BP and Shell from the Global Climate Coalition was perhaps not surprising. After all, oil is a premium fuel for transportation...

Lowcarbon Fuels from Coal

Yet other innovations that might emerge from China are processes to derive low-carbon fuels from coal.42 Technologies that render liquid and gaseous fuels from coal have long been under development worldwide, as mentioned in chapter 5. Because China is rich in coal but has little oil or natural gas, coal is central to its energy future. China already generates 80 percent of its electricity from coal and is now looking to coal to fuel its vehicles. This choice has monumental environmental implications for the rest of the world.

Whats a fossil fuel company to do

BP still deals with petroleum, but it also takes a lead in developing low-carbon fuels and technology. The company Fossil-fuel companies have the potential to become energy companies, expand their customer base, and ensure that they remain successful through policy and cultural changes designed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

From Green Timber to Green Fuels

Then, serendipitously, the town discovered another renewable resource biofuels. More accurately, biodiesel discovered Grays Harbor. It began one day in 2005 when Gary Nelson, director of the Grays Harbor Port District, got a call from John Plaza, founder and president of a company called Imperium Renewables, which makes biodiesel. Plaza had carefully researched potential locations for a huge expansion of his refinery operations and needed a spot with both rail and seaborne access. He had a vision for a plant that could use feed stocks from midwestern soybeans and oil crops around the world while the market for local crops like mustard seed from nearby farmers developed. The demands of the emerging biodiesel market warranted building a plant that could ride out shortages and price spikes in any oil market, and port transportation was key. The courtship between the community and the company was brief but exciting. Financing was successful, and by November 2006, construction had begun on...

Biodiesel The Populist Choice

Another recently embraced biofuel is biodiesel. Unlike ethanol, which is used in gasoline spark ignition engines, biodiesel replaces diesel fuel and is the only prominent nonfossil alternative for diesel engines. For this reason, and because it's renewable, it has gained considerable attention. Its potential is quite limited, though, at least for the foreseeable future. Biodiesel is derived from animal fats and plant oils. Currently it's mostly made from waste oils, such as frying oils discarded by fast-food restaurants, and from dedicated plant oil crops, such as soybeans in the United States and palms in Asia. U.S. biodiesel production was 225 million gallons in 2006, accounting for 0.5 percent of diesel fuel consumption. Biodiesel is a populist favorite because waste oils can be gathered for free from fast-food restaurants and converted into fuel in backyard vats. Using waste oil connects with our desire to make a personal contribution to our mounting energy problems. But consider...

Figure Corn Used in Ethanol Production

Biodiesel), other agricultural commodities, like wheat and soybeans, are way up, too. The soaring price of wheat actually caused Italian consumers to stage a one-day pasta-buying strike in late 2007. So are the massive subsidies now being lavished by Congress on Big Corn simply wasted money when there ' s neither time nor money to waste Yes and no. Corn ethanol is clearly not a solution in and of itself, so the case can be made that we might be better off devoting less (or no) effort to it. On the other hand, the expense isn't as big as it seems because corn ethanol subsidies, by pumping up the price of corn and other grains, have lessened the need for payments under existing farm subsidy plans. According to some estimates, ethanol subsidies actually save the government more than they cost. And they 've helped create a biofuel infrastructure that can, with a little tweaking, accommodate better fuels when they come along. So think of corn ethanol as a transition technology rather than...

Production of Biofuels

The Environmental Defense Fund has determined that a key factor in how effective biofuels are in fighting global warming is the energy efficiency of their production methods. These include everything from running plows and harvesters to manufacturing pesticides and fertilizer to converting the material into fuel and transporting it. Improving land use through sustainable practices such as no-till farming, and boosting energy efficiencies make biofuels more effective at reducing heat-trapping pollution. biodiesel transportation There are advantages to farmers for producing biofuels. As energy prices rise, farms that reduce their energy use increase efficiency. Those that produce fuels will be more financially stable in the country's currently unstable fossil fuels market. In addition, producing and selling biofuels provides additional income to farmers. Biofuel production also supports and strengthens the local economy rather than foreign economies.

Ethanol Production Economic Opportunities and Offsets

In a mature and relatively stable commodity production and distribution system, large changes in one segment of that system have consequences for other aspects of agriculture, non-agriculture industries, the public, and households. Initially it is important to note that the placement of a modern biofuels plant in a rural economy will result in an expansion of net regional industrial production. In the short run there is a positive economic impact to be expected. The rapid run-up in ethanol plant development in the 2005 through 2007 period, however, has also had consequences in many other aspects of agriculture, the impacts of which are just starting to be understood. This section works through some of the regional economic opportunities and offsets that must be considered as this industry matures in the Midwest.

Seattle Biodiesel Homegrown Fuel Takes Root

Just as the PC has the Mac, and the Yankees have the Red Sox, ethanol has a competitor in biodiesel, diesel fuel refined from plant seeds. Two titans of Silicon Valley who have done battle in the Google versus Microsoft wars have now moved over to the competition in biofuels. Vinod Khosla, as discussed previously, is banking on cellulosic ethanol Martin Tobias is backing biodiesel. They both ended up being right in software. The extent to which each will be right in the competition for the dominant biofuel operating system will be a fascinating tale to watch unfold. It was a seemingly long jump for this emerging energy guru from the clean and orderly campus of Microsoft to the next industrial age, hard by the brown water of the Duwamish River. But according to Tobias, the same lust for innovation and capacity for risk taking applies in building a biofuels company as in pushing the boundaries of software. His company, Imperium Energy, is now building the largest biodiesel plant in the...

Biofuels Growth Prospects

Given the progress that's being made on multiple fronts, it's likely that a decade hence, some combination of cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, and biomass (along with other biofuels like butanol) will supply a significant part of humanity's energy. But the investment angle is not yet clear. First'generation biofuels aren ' t worthy of much enthusiasm, even though government mandates appear to guarantee a few more years of strong demand. And none of the half dozen promising next'generation biofuel processes and feedstocks have proven themselves commercially. This market, in short, is yet another work in progress, but a potentially big one. By 2010, it should be possible to build a portfolio of high'growth, moderate risk biofuel stocks. In the meantime, Table 9.1 presents some of the biofuel stocks that were available in mid-2008.

The Complexities Of Biofuels

The issues surrounding biofuels are complex, and the opinions on them are widely varied, so we'll start with a brief overview of biofuels, and then explore some of the important questions. There are two main types of biofuel in use today ethanol and biodiesel. Figure 9.1 summarizes their production methods. Biodiesel FIGURE 9.1 Biofuel Production Pathways Source Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Biofuels Is the Cure Worse than the Disease September 2007, http media.ft.com cms FIGURE 9.1 Biofuel Production Pathways Source Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Biofuels Is the Cure Worse than the Disease September 2007, http media.ft.com cms Therefore the crops that grow best locally are the crops that must be used for biofuels. For the United States, corn is the primary feedstock for Brazil, sugarcane and for Japan, rice. There's still quite a bit more to discuss in regard to the advantages and disadvantages of biofuels, but first,...

Biomass energy and biofuels potentialities and risks

Production of biofuels currently represents the main alternative to petroleum fuels in the field of transport. The production of biofuels has grown very rapidly, generating strong controversies about its negative impact on food supply. The world production in 2006 reached 24.4 Mtoe, as compared with 10.3 Mtoe in 2000. Biofuels offer the advantage of reducing the dependence of the consumer countries on oil while at the same time improving the CO2 balance. The CO2 emitted by combustion of biomass is seen as neutral with respect to the greenhouse gas balance since it can be considered as being recycled during photosynthesis, as indicated earlier. We must nevertheless take into account all emissions generated during the production, transport and transformation of biomass (life cycle analysis), which may in some cases significantly reduce, or even completely cancel out, this advantage. The European Union member states have set an initial goal of incorporating at least 5.75 of biofuels in...

Box The Concept And Use Of Biofuels

Bioethanol, which is chemically identical to other forms of ethanol, can be derived from sugar cane, grain, corn, and straw. More recently, biodiesel, which is derived mainly from vegetable oil, has also been developed. The use of these products, referred to collectively as biofuels, provide well-to-wheels7 GHG reductions on the order of 20 percent to 50 percent compared to petroleum fuels. One form of biofuel that is gaining increasing global attention is that of cellulosic ethanol, which is derived from waste products such as wood chips and agricultural debris, rather than from valuable crops such as corn. The production method for this type of feedstock uses powerful catalysts and enzymes to speed up the natural fermentation process of the cellulose. In his 2006 State of the Union address, U.S. President George W. Bush extolled the virtues of bioenergy, and promised to boost spending in support of new technology, which is designed to develop cellulosic ethanol to a commercial level...

Energy Crops and Biofuels

In addition to solid and gaseous fuel for producing electricity, biomass can also be converted to carbon-neutral liquid fuels. Forestry wastes and biomass grown on uncultivated fields and idle farmland could produce 240 billion gallons of ethanol annually, which on an energy-equivalent basis would replace 160 billion gallons of gasoline. Because the United States uses only about 121 billion gallons of gasoline, biofuels could more than meet the fuel needs of cars and other light duty vehicles, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Moreover, fuel needs could be reduced to a third or a fourth of today's quantities by tougher fuel efficiency standards. A study of the future price outlook for biomass ethanol under various production technology and world oil price assumptions found that by 2015, terminal prices for cellulosic ethanol might overlap with gasoline prices.22 The study estimated that ethanol might range in price from 0.70 to 1.20 per gallon at the terminal...

Putting Biofuels Job Change and Growth into Perspective in the Near Term

The interior economy of the U.S., to include its more rural areas, has not grown at anywhere near the pace as the remainder of the U.S. We also know that manufacturing in the interior of the U.S. has been hard-hit over the past decade. Ethanol production from corn is a form of chemical manufacturing. When we look at the overall value of manufacturing to any economy, two factors are paramount the number of jobs created and, of course, the associated earnings that workers convert There have been very strong declines in manufacturing jobs during the present decade. Nationally, between 2000 and 2005 the nation lost nearly 3 million manufacturing positions, about 18 percent were in non-metropolitan areas of the nation, areas that did not have a central city of 50,000 or more. The chemical manufacturing industry, of which ethanol production is a subset, lost almost 100,000 jobs over the same time period. In 2005 the average earnings of a U.S. manufacturing job considering all wages,...

Measuring and Mismeasuring Biofuels Economic Impacts

It is important to sort out the rhetoric of claimed economic benefits to be expected from biofuels development in the Midwest and the nation because there are tremendous amounts of public money at stake. In the very early stages of this modern boom in ethanol plant construction, politicians, farm commodity groups, and economic developers hailed the emerging industry as the right and proper evolution of modern agricultural production capacities coupled inexorably with technological breakthroughs and long overdue changes in the nation's energy policies. Amidst this enthusiasm, biofuels trade associations and some agricultural commodity groups reported in various venues that scores of thousands of jobs have been created across the Corn Belt and the nation. Some politicians and government agency representatives parroted those reports uncritically Midwestern state governments began to specifically and energetically apply government agency services in support of the boom, along with...

The Longer Term Prospects for Rural Areas from Biofuels Development

The prospect of increased biofuels production presupposes an extension if not an acceleration in the uses of mechanical and chemical inputs into agricultural production as farmers shift production to accommodate the corn ethanol industry's rapid expansion of late. Simultaneously, the corn ethanol industry itself will expand preferring to develop highly efficient production systems closer to the 100 MGY per year range and larger, which also will require much less labor per gallon of production than is currently the industry average. Both of these assumptions do not portend a rural economic recovery, but rather a continuation if not an acceleration of the fundamental factors undermining most rural areas in the interior of the country limited and specialized labor demands in only a few dominant industries that are increasingly capital intensive and production systems that require, over time, fewer and fewer regionally supplied intermediate labor inputs. The longer term technical and...

Review of the Economic Rewards and Risks of Ethanol Production

Abstract Ethanol production doubled in a very short period of time in the U.S. due to a combination of natural disasters, political tensions, and much more demand globally from petroleum. Responses to this expansion will span many sectors of society and the economy. As the Midwest gears up to rapidly add new ethanol manufacturing plants, the existing regional economy must accommodate the changes. There are issues for decision makers regarding existing agricultural activities, transportation and storage, regional economic impacts, the likelihood of growth in particular areas and decline in others, and the longer term economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Many of these issues will have to be considered and dealt with in a simultaneous fashion in a relatively short period of time. This chapter investigates sets of structural, industrial, and regional consequences associated with ethanol plant development in the Midwest, primarily, and in the nation, secondarily. The first...

Corn Ethanol Farm Subsidy in Drag

The first biofuel to be widely used in the United States was ethanol, an alcohol derived from corn. It was first because it' s easy, rather than especially good. Corn is something American farmers know how to grow in vast quantities, and American truckers and railroads know how to ship. To turn it into ethanol, the corn is ground up and processed using heat, water, and enzymes to convert the liquefied starch to sugars, which are fermented into ethanol and carbon dioxide. The ethanol is then shipped to refiners, which mix it with their gasoline and sell it to gas stations. the pockets of farmers and distillers, many of whom live in crucial swing states. And because it comes from a plant, it was thought to be carbon neutral. As a result, the United States began encouraging ethanol production a decade ago by requiring refiners to mix it with their gasoline and by effectively banning competing gasoline additives. It worked. Big Corn is now a power to rival Big Oil in the U.S. Farm Belt,...

Cellulosic Biofuels Taking Food Out of the Picture

Only one cogent argument can be made on behalf of corn ethanol, other than inflating the profits of corn and ethanol producers corn ethanol could be a stepping-stone to more promising biofuels made from inedible organic matter. More promising biofuels do exist. These are fuels made from the vast array of cellulosic plant materials grasses, fast-growing trees, municipal trash, and crop residues. These are the advanced biofuels called for in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. These materials can be converted into any number of liquid and gaseous biofuels, including but not limited to ethanol. Virtually every study on ethanol and biofuels highlights the potential attractions of cellulosic fuels.29 They're abundant and they're not crops that would otherwise nourish people. For a given plot of land, cel-lulosic biofuels have a far smaller carbon footprint than corn. And cellulosic material can even be grown on marginal lands not suitable to farming. The In 2006, a number of...

Fossil Fuel Resources and Uses

Today's enormous energy demands are mainly fulfilled by the use of fossil fuels. In 2000, they contributed to 85 ofthe energy consumption in the United States, and to 86 worldwide. The fossil fuels used are all different forms of hydrocarbons coal, oil, and natural gas, all differing in their hydrogen to carbon ratio. To liberate their energy content and to power our electric plants, heat our houses, and to propel our cars and airplanes, the fuels must be burned, forming CO2 and water. Consequently, they are non-renewable. This means that on the human time-scale they cannot be naturally regenerated and are only available in a finite amount on Earth. The recurring question is how much of these reserves are still available Most estimates put our overall worldwide fossil fuel reserves as lasting not more than 200 to 300 years, of which oil and gas would last for less than a century. These forecasts however, are based on our present state of knowledge. The dynamic nature of the discovery...

Green Power and Alternative Fuels

Alternative fuels are generally considered to be alternatives to petroleum or coal and include renewable-energy sources. These can also be used for heating hot water, creating steam for heat, or absorption cooling. Examples include biomass, wood pellets, and geothermal energy. Numerous technologies can generate electricity or heat or both at the same time from conventional and alternative fuels. Biofuels Biofuels or biomass includes trees, crops, and agricultural and forestry wastes that can be used to make fuels, chemicals, and electricity. Biomass is a domestic and renewable source of energy, although appropriate technology must accompany it for it to be clean. Appli cations in universities and colleges usually include wood or wood-pellet boiler plants. For example, Mount Wachusett Community College recently installed a biomass heating plant to burn wood waste from the local furniture industry,8 and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests uses a wood-pellet boiler to...

Increased Use of Alternative Fuels or Green Power

The electric industry, which remained basically unchanged for a century, has undergone something of a revolution in the past decade. Many states have now deregulated their electric industries. What this means for colleges and universities or other purchasers of electricity is that there is now a choice of electric generators. With this choice, a college or university may now purchase some or all of its electricity from renewable sources. Renewable energy offers low or no climate-altering emissions (in the case of wind and solar), which makes it very attractive to an institution that is interested in reducing its heat-trapping gas emissions. In addition to power purchases, colleges and universities may install green power on site, by tying solar or wind to existing or new building systems. More information on green power and alternative fuels is in chapter 8.

In Search of Low Carbon Fuels

Vehicle populations are ballooning, accessible oil supplies are dwindling, and greenhouse gases need reducing. One answer is increasing vehicle fuel economy. Another is commercializing low-carbon alternative fuels. While many efforts have been made to find alternatives to petroleum, carbon content was never an issue until now. In any case, petroleum's dominance has never been seriously threatened since it took root nearly a century ago. The oil that flows through our car monoculture has long suffocated would-be competitors. Many different low-carbon alternatives are in contention. Most have been tested in the past and found wanting. There's no clear-cut replacement for oil. Each alternative is at a different stage of development, and each carries with it a different mix of pros and cons. Hydrogen and electricity are capable of substantially reducing oil use and greenhouse gases, but hydrogen isn't ready for prime time and electricity faces substantial technical and economic barriers...

Cellulose Based Biofuels

As indicated above, we need to base an increasing amount of our future energy needs on biofuels, produced from cellulose. We already possess a number of alternative fuels that could be used, using different technologies, from distillation of ethanol, to the production of a number of different hydrocarbons from wood. In the case of methanol, we already have a process, which is available for the large-scale production of this product. As mentioned already, methanol can be used as an additive to petroleum. Similar to ethanol, methanol can be added in quantities of up to 30 percent to gasoline, without requiring any modifications of the engines. All in all, there are substantial resources in our global forests, both in the form of wood and waste from forestry. One of the problems is that the raw materials are scattered across large areas and that there is a high cost, both in terms of energy and money, involved in collecting it. Based on rough estimates, the available waste from forestry...

Evolution of Federal Policies Supporting Liquid Biofuels

Subsidization of ethanol production at the federal level began with the Energy Tax Act of 1978. That Act granted a 4 cents-per-gallon reduction in the federal motor fuels excise tax for gasohol, a blend of 10 ethanol and 90 gasoline, also called In 1988, federal legislation began addressing the consumption side of the alternative fuels market. The Alternative Motor Fuels Act passed that year provided credits to automakers in meeting their Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards when they produced cars capable of being fueled by alternative fuels (Duffield and Collins, 2006).5 Earning these credits did not require that the vehicles actually run on the alternative fuels, and because so few vehicles have (somewhat less than one percent of their mileage, according to a 2002 Report to Congress), the rule has been estimated to have increased domestic oil demand by 80,000 barrels a day (MacKenzie et al., 2005). Environmental concerns have also helped improve the market position of...

Guide to Current Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Models

The automotive world is ever-changing. Models go into production and out of production on a frequent basis, but the accompanying chart is a comprehensive look at the hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles available on the market today. More, of course, are coming as auto manufacturers from around the world try to tap into consumers' desires for better fuel economy, lower emissions, and less consumption of precious fossil fuels. Because of this, it is expected that in the coming months you will have more hybrid, displacement-on-demand, and clean diesel models to choose from. The future also might hold consumer-available diesel-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and fuel cell vehicles. Fuel economy represents the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) city and highway fuel economy ratings for the specified versions of each vehicle that has hybrid or alternative fuel capabilities.

New Cars New Fuels New Batteries

Two major advances that can revolutionize our transportation system will mature simultaneously cellulosic ethanol and the plug-in hybrid. About 2011, plug-in hybrids will start to hit the roads just at the same time that meaningful amounts of cellulosic ethanol are becoming available at service stations across the country. This will be a happy tie in the race between battery technology progress and biofuel progress. This synchronous combination will allow drivers to plug in their cars at night, drive about forty miles on battery power alone, and then use the cellulosic ethanol they purchased at their corner filling station for the rest of their trip. The car will get a minimum of 150 miles and potentially as much as 500 miles per gallon of gasoline. Even before plug-ins become a substantial part of the auto fleet, cel-lulosic ethanol will make a rapid penetration of the market. This will occur because Congress will have done its job and mandated production of flex-fuel vehicles and a...

Alternative Fuels as Stalking Horses

Although alternative fuels haven't dislodged or even challenged petroleum fuels (with the unique exception of Brazilian ethanol), they've indirectly played a pivotal role in improving petroleum fuels and engines as stalking horses. The role of methanol in spurring the reformulation of gasoline and diesel fuels, mentioned earlier, is just one example. In a broader sense, the threat of alternative fuels played a central role in the radical reduction of vehicle emissions in the 1990s. The new standards in the 1990 federal Clean Air Act and California's 1990 low-emission vehicle (LEV) program came about principally thanks to alternative fuels. Until that time, the business-oriented administrations of presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush had been reluctant to sign into law regulations that might unduly harm the auto industry. The auto industry consistently resisted, beginning in the 1960s, the imposition of aggressive emission standards, and the oil industry argued that it wasn't...

Biofuels

Running a car with fuel that has grown on the fields sounds like a safe and attractive option for a climate-conscious citizen. The plants grown for biofuel production absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and combustion of the biofuel releases only the CO2 previously absorbed by the plant. Therefore biofuels typically have far lower well-to-wheel GHG emissions than fossil fuels. With the surge in fossil fuel prices in the recent past and government programmes supporting the production of biofuels, the demand for plant-based energy has risen sharply. In the United States for example, the US Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) required in 2006 that 1 500 million litres of the US fuel supply be provided by renewable fuels, and it is supposed to increase to 28 400 million litres in 2012. With a further surge in demand ahead of us it is worth looking at ways to ensure a sustainable production of energy corps. Whether biofuels are good or bad is a matter of introducing a number of environmental and...

Biodiesel

Biodiesel fuels are made from vegetable and seed oils, woodchips, soybeans, animal fats, and recycled restaurant grease. A typical fast food restaurant produces about 250 pounds of grease a week. In New York State, a 20i gal tax credit supports the use of biodiesel. In Greenpoint (Brooklyn, New York), a 110 million gallon biodiesel refinery is awaiting approval. Federal policy is still tilting to ethanol in spite of the fact that turning biomass into gasoline is simpler because it does not require changes in pipelines and car designs. Byproducts of biofuel production are glycerin and lignin. The production of each gallon of biodiesel also produces a pound of glycerin. These materials can be used to replace oil-based products with bio-based ones. It is expected that in the decades to come, the development of the biofuel industry will result in the building of multiproduct biorefineries.

Fossil Fuels

Petroleum, natural gas, and coal make up 87 percent of the energy consumed worldwide. The flow path of each of the three primary fossil fuels, from extraction and production to consumption, is illustrated in figures 6.3-6.5. These energy flow diagrams illustrate the larger picture that is involved in the production and consumption of fossil fuels. From these diagrams, a few important but often overlooked aspects in each process can be identified. For example, market reports state the amount of crude oil produced, or the price for a barrel of crude oil. The emphasis on this aspect of the petroleum cycle overlooks the process of refining. Figure 6.3 shows that refining is the crucial step required for the delivery of marketable petroleum products for consumers, most notably gasoline and jet fuel. Tables 6.2 and 6.3 provide statistics for fossil fuel production and consumption for each world region in 2004. These data are presented in physical units for each resource. These tables...

Eating Fossil Fuels

OLAR ENERGY is a renewable resource limited only by the inflow rate from the sun to the earth. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are a stock-type resource that can be exploited at a nearly limitless rate. However, on a human time scale fossil fuels are nonrenewable. They represent a planetary energy deposit that we can draw from at any rate we wish, but which will eventually be exhausted without hope of renewal. The Green Revolution tapped into this energy deposit and used it to increase agricultural production. Total fossil fuel use in the United States has increased twenty-fold in the last four decades. In the US, we consume 20 to 30 times more fossil fuel energy per capita than people in developing nations. Agriculture directly accounts for '7 percent of all the energy used in this country.' As of '990, we were using approximately ',000 liters of oil to produce food from one hectare of land.2 In a subsequent study completed later that same year, Giam-pietro and Pimentel managed to...

Burning Fossil Fuels

The fossil fuels are coal, oil, and natural gas. The name fossil fuels derives from the origin of these fuels from the remains of organic matter preserved from prehistoric times. Most of our energy used for electricity and transportation today comes from the burning of fossil fuels, which generates carbon dioxide as a by-product. As a result of fossil fuel combustion, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now 35 percent higher than it was a century and a half ago. Combustion of diesel fuel (using a typical formula representative of either biodiesel or petrodiesel fuel)

Liquid Biofuels

Biofuels are liquid fuels produced from biomass feedstock through different chemical or biological processes. Today, biomass is the only available renewable source for producing high-value liquid biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel. These fuels can offer renewable alternatives to transportation fuels that presently are obtained almost exclusively from oil. Ethanol, the most common biofuel, is produced by fermentation of annually grown crops (sugar cane, corn, grapes, etc.). In this process, starch or carbohydrates (sugars) are decomposed by microorganisms to produce ethanol. Ethanol can be produced from a wide variety of sugar or starch crops, including sugar beet and sugar cane and their byproducts, potatoes and corn surplus. In Russia after the Bolshevik revolution, Lenin proposed the use of agricultural alcohol to produce industrial fuels and products. This diversion amounted to the use of Russian people's beloved source of vodka, however, the plan was soon abandoned. During...

Biodiesel Fuel

Another way to use methanol in diesel engines and generators is through biodiesel fuels. These can be made from a large variety of vegetable oils and animal fats which are reacted with methanol in a transesterification process to produce compounds known as fatty acid methyl esters, which compose biodiesel. Biodiesel can be blended without major problems with regular diesel oil in any proportion. It is a renewable, domestically produced fuel which also reduces emissions of un-burned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, sulfur compounds as well as CO2 (one of the main greenhouse gases). The use of biodiesel has grown substantially during the past few years, mainly in Europe and the United States. However, as pointed out earlier in Chapter 6, the feedstocks for biodiesel are limited, and consequently biodiesel can cover only a relatively small portion of our energy needs. Alone, biodiesel will be unable to replace diesel fuel obtained from hydrocarbons in the quantities...

The role of biofuels

Biofuels, as discussed in Chapter 2, are regarded as environmentally friendly types of fuel. On a fuel cycle basis, greenhouse savings of up to 5 can be gained from the use of E10 (which is petrol blended with 10 ethanol). However, the use of 100 biodiesel made from waste oil can achieve 90 cuts in greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel. Biofuels currently provide around 50 to 60 ML (or 0.3 ) of road transport fuel. Most of this is manufactured from wheat starch produced in New South Wales, although about 5 ML of ethanol is produced from C molasses feedstock in Queensland. A biodiesel plant using waste oil was recently established in New South Wales with a capacity of 14-17 ML. In 2003, a 10 limit on the contribution of ethanol to petrol came into force, while an ethanol fuel labelling standard came into effect in 2004. The legislation, principally the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 (Cth) which regulates the use of biofuels, and the Energy Grants (Cleaner Fuels) Scheme Act2003...

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.

Get My Free Ebook