Fueling the Future of Human Transportation

Biofuels are some of the most promising clean sources of energy production in the world today. With a lower Carbon debt than traditional fossil fuel sources and a nearly endless supply of biomass from food waste and plant life efficient biofuels could help power our world in the future. The United States as well as some other developed countries have begun to invest considerable research hours into the production and development of biofuels and efficient methods for its production. The most efficient source of fuel that we can create from biofuels today is bioethanol, with a highly efficient burning capacity as well as being in liquid phase at room temperature bioethanol can be used and stored easily.

Since 2006 North America (United States and Canada mostly) has tripled its total production of biofuels including bioethanol as shown in the graphs below. Europe and Eurasia have had the biggest increase in the development of Biodiesel; much of which is fueled by Formula 1 Racing funds.

An interesting article posted in ponder was concerning how biofuels are being used to reduce emissions of particulates in jet fuels. Because biofuels burn cleaned than standard fuels the reduces particulate emission by plane directly into the upper troposphere or lower stratosphere can be cut by 50 to 70 percent according to a study done by NASA. This fuel is composed of hydro processed esters and fatty acids produced from camelina plant oil. This is significant because they were able to use “less efficient” sources according to our books to create highly efficient jet fuel. While Fatty acids and Esters are usually used to create intermediates of fuels for car transportation NASA has used these lower efficiency fuels mixed in a 1:1 ratio with compatible jet fuels to create a highly efficient source of fuel.

All in all Biofuels represent a growing industry in the energy sector of developed countries that will help to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels. They will be able to be a sustainable source of energy due to the amount of biomass we generate as waste as well as the numerous potential sources; algae, invasive land plans, etc… some of which such as kelp can grow as much as a foot a week in nature to be harvested for fuel.

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2 thoughts on “Fueling the Future of Human Transportation

  1. It’s interesting how North America is going after bioethanol while Europe has been more focused on biodiesel. If ethanol from cellulose gets commercialized, we’ll have the more climate friendly biofuel!

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