Jump to content

Are biofuels our best friends????


Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

 

I am doing a research project on bio fuels for college and I want to hear your opinion on biofuels. I would be extremely grateful if anyone could answer these questions. I think biofuels are awesome and that we should look use them more instead of fossil fuels, Sure there are disadvantages to using biofuels, They still release C02 and sometimes CO. But I believe the positives out way the negatives.

 

Q1) In your opinion what do you believe to be the best source of renewable energy currently available and can you please explain why?

Q2) What is your opinion on biofuels? Do you think that it could be a viable alternative energy supply compared to more traditional fossil fuel based, and if so can you please explain your reasoning?

Q3) What do you think the most serious implications will be when we run out of oil?


Q4) Do you think that we should be scared that we are running out of oil and that the government seem to be doing very little about the situation?

Q5) Do you think that the positives out way the negatives for bio fuels?

Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Probably solar. Has the most widespread availability along with being usable in a number of forms(food/water heating, electricity).

 

2) Bio-fuel requires multiple steps to convert the initially solar energy and whatever nutrients to a usable form. Depending on the source they may also impact food production. That being said, there does exist the potential for bio-fuel sources utilizing waste or non-edible resources so they remain a very viable avenue for research.

 

3) My view is that the price of oil based products will rise as the supply depletes. Rather than a sudden shortage, there will be a more gradual adjustment. More serious issue would be countries getting desperate and tapping other possibly more polluting/risky sources for power. Waste incineration, deep sea methane hydrates, tar sands, etc.

 

4) I feel they have been working on the problem to the degree they can. Different interests in play. Green Energy vs Increased Costs, Alternate fuel sources vs Pollution

 

5) Yes, perhaps not as they are at present, but I think future research will see better production methods.

Edited by Endy0816
Link to post
Share on other sites

They still release C02 and sometimes CO. But I believe the positives out way the negatives.

 

To produce biofuel vegetables, bacterias, algae need to absorb CO2 first to grow up.

Then we will burn fuel, releasing CO2 back to atmosphere.

Output is equal to input.

Unlike fossil fuel.

Organisms that produced it absorbed CO2 hundred million years ago, and releasing it now will change climate dramatically.

 

Humans should learn how to not waste energy in the first place.

But not by doing such crap ideas as banning traditional light bulbs (which stinks corruption and conspiracy for a mile), but real things like f.e. completely free of charge local buses and local trains.

This would encourage people to leave car at home. Or not buying it at all.

 

If bus can hold 50 people, it's 50 people that didn't have to drive their cars and burn fuel, each independently.

Bus is using 25 L/100 km, regular car f.e. 5 L/100 km, 50 cars/people * 5 L = 250 L of fuel total.

So 1 bus is saving 90% of fuel used by all these people straight away!

 

The main problem is that governments are earning a lot of money from excise for fuel.

And the more people drive, the more money they are receiving.

Impossible to break circle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is only one source of energy, which is not actually renewable. Nuclear energy, which can be fission or fusion. The sun creates energy by fission, which is the source of both fossil fuels and renewable energy on the Earth. Fossil fuels are the result of ancient vegetation that grew because the Sun provided the energy for growth; these plants died and left fossil remains that we use as coal and oil today. The sun energizes solar cells directly, heats surfaces, and causes winds, tides, waves, etc. that comprise the renewable energy suite we use today, except for geothermal energy, which is a combination of fission and the Earth cooling.

 

Renewable combustibles include wood and other plant matter burned for heat and chemicals such as alcohol and biodiesel that are burned for heat; the heat may be used directly or used to run engines, which sometimes make electricity.

 

Solar thermal heat for buildings, including homes and workspaces is effective and economical. PV, wind and nuclear will be used to generate electricity. Biochemicals such as alcohol, biodiesel and hydrogen can run the transportation system, but it will take a long time to build the infrastructure, which includes millions of acres of farms. In the mean time, we will have to use lighter weight more economic vehicles for personal transportation. Cities need to be rebuilt so that jobs and living spaces are near each other to reduce transportation costs. But, more efficient transportation and infrastructure will take a long time to change. AFAIK there is no simple solution, except to bite the bullet and make changes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the original question about renewables or about biofuels? Not quite clear.

 

Geothermy hasn't yet been mentioned. Available when and where needed (no geyser required), perfect for heating, can produce electricity at the same time. Small land area, looks cheap.

 

Solar electricity should not be confused with photovoltaics. Conversion through heat is cheaper, more efficient, and can store energy for the night or a cloudy day. Plants work in Spain and elsewhere.

 

Brazil drives using bioethanol (actually a mixture with gasoline). Cars and gas stations have adapted. Works, cheap - and the air is clean!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys,

 

I am doing a research project on bio fuels for college and I want to hear your opinion on biofuels. I would be extremely grateful if anyone could answer these questions. I think biofuels are awesome and that we should look use them more instead of fossil fuels, Sure there are disadvantages to using biofuels, They still release C02 and sometimes CO. But I believe the positives out way the negatives.

 

Q1) In your opinion what do you believe to be the best source of renewable energy currently available and can you please explain why?

The short term: biofuels. They are affordable and seem to be more sustainable than fossil fuels. Especially the 'second generation' bio fuels, which use agricultural residues and wood seem to be quite sustainable.

 

On the long term: solar energy and wind energy. Right now these seem a little too expensive. But they are very sustainable, requiring far less energy to construct, operate and maintain than they generate in their lifetime. And while fossil energy eventually will get more expensive (even though we go through a dip because of shale gas), wind and solar are continuously getting cheaper.

 

Q2) What is your opinion on biofuels? Do you think that it could be a viable alternative energy supply compared to more traditional fossil fuel based, and if so can you please explain your reasoning?

Bio-fuels can technically replace fossil based energy, but to do this for all our fuels would simply require too much biomass. I think that for example the electric car is more likely on the long run, because batteries are still getting better and cheaper.

 

However, in certain fields, like jet fuels, biomass is so far the only sustainable option (because batteries are probably too heavy for airplanes). Technically it is possible, as Lufthansa have shown in 2011. Whether it is economically interesting, time will tell. Fossil fuels certainly are cheaper at this moment.

 

Q3) What do you think the most serious implications will be when we run out of oil?

Chemicals and materials will run out. Some chemicals and plastics are not easily made from bio-sources. We are developing new plastics from plant materials though, so this may not be as much of a problem as we currently think.

 

Q4) Do you think that we should be scared that we are running out of oil and that the government seem to be doing very little about the situation?

Scared: No.

Your government (I'm assuming it's the US govt.) and a lot of other governments are pumping billions into research and commercial subsidies to develop the necessary knowledge to run our economy on sustainable energy sources.

 

In short: the only problem is a lack of investments, not a lack of knowledge.

 

Q5) Do you think that the positives out way the negatives for bio fuels?

On the short term, yes. On the longer term, I think we'd better use the biomass for chemicals and materials, and get our energy from wind and solar energy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

overall, currently I believe that biofuels are our 'friends'. This belief is based upon sustainability; pollution; and cost.

In a future time, long after most of us reading this forum have past, I believe that humans shall be gradually forced to live as they once lived in a time long past. All renewable energy; transport; buildings etc... require the use of minerals extracted from the earth, such as iron ore and coking coal to make steel. Once these building blocks of the earth have been exhausted, humans will be forced to live in more simple building made from the timbers or grasses that grow where they are living. Humans shall be forced to eat that which grows naturally where they live and so on.

Everything that exists seems to be like a circle and cycles seem to be prominent throughout the Earth. Perhaps, very slowly and gradually, humanity will advance to a point where the Earth is nurtured by all, an abundance of food shall exist, we shall be able to take what we need and no more and everything shall cost nothing as the monetary system shall be long past and non existent.

This all sounds very 'utopian' however I don't see a way that humanity can go on with the current way of living and thinking. The Earth is owned by no one. Even if one buys a piece of land, the reality is that that person will outlay some money, a piece of paper will say that that person owns that land and long after that person dies, the land remains, perhaps 'owned' by someone else. Land owners are, in fact, land renters.

Anyway, this has gone off topic so I shall simply state that, for the time being, bio fuels are our friends yet they come at a price.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an issue with biofuels.

You will use ground surface for cultivating biofuel instead of cultivating cereals for food. Biofuels mean an increase in cultivated areas, which is not good for the environment and a decrease in food production because biofuel will mean more money. The price for food will increase (hint: invest in food actions). The poor countries will be unable to get food at an affordable price.

That means more hunger in the world.

Edited by michel123456
Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an issue with biofuels.

You will use ground surface for cultivating biofuel instead of cultivating cereals for food. Biofuels mean an increase in cultivated areas, which is not good for the environment and a decrease in food production because biofuel will mean more money. The price for food will increase (hint: invest in food actions). The poor countries will be unable to get food at an affordable price.

That means more hunger in the world.

 

Well you wouldn't necessarily need to remove the plant from its stem. You wouldn't either need to re-cultivate the land as in replant every year if that's what your referring to.

 

There is trillions of tons of organic matter that is just thrown away as waste every year, like olive pits for example, maiz leaves, potatoes skin, ect. A lot more than I can imagine right now. If we could find a way to globally, and efficiently be able to harness the energy within these organic matter, we could possible have a very reliable source of energy.

 

It would also push, the world as a whole to go green, planting more trees and plants just for the sake of fuel. We wouldn't necessarily need to touch or impact the food industry.

Edited by AndresKiani
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well you wouldn't necessarily need to remove the plant from its stem. You wouldn't either need to re-cultivate the land as in replant every year if that's what your referring to.

 

There is trillions of tons of organic matter that is just thrown away as waste every year, like olive pits for example, maiz leaves, potatoes skin, ect. A lot more than I can imagine right now. If we could find a way to globally, and efficiently be able to harness the energy within these organic matter, we could possible have a very reliable source of energy.

 

It would also push, the world as a whole to go green, planting more trees and plants just for the sake of fuel. We wouldn't necessarily need to touch or impact the food industry.

(emphasizing mine)

I am not sure. Maybe there are studies on that subject. I know that a lot of "waiste" is used one way or another, either for food for animals or for fertilizing. In a farm nothing is thrown away, I guess that it's the same in industrial farming.

What I understand by the word "biofuel" is a kind of production especially designed and matured for fuel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The question of biofuel versus food versus nature isn't obvious. When palm trees replace forest trees in Indonesia, the operation releases no net dioxide, competes with no food production, but takes the habitat for wild life. Brazil (~25 hab/km2) has enough room for both food and biofuel production, so deciders there tell "poverty makes people hungry, not the lack of land". But if growing biofuels around Paris, it does replace food production; the French won't starve from that, but overseas buyers may, as the EU exports less.

 

I'd like to emphasize that biofuels are so heavily targeted by the petrol lobby (and the agriculture lobby, and the tax lobby = the politicians) that most "information" is crap, to a point that it's difficult to make a sensible opinion.

 

Recently I read nonsense like "palm oil diester from Indonesia releases dioxide from cutting the forest and competes with food, so prefer the properly labelled one produced around Paris". Worryingly, some readers are going to believe that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Research is aiming to use residues from agriculture instead of the food itself.

 

Example: wheat is grown for food, but the straw that is left is used for fuel / chemicals. Right now, part of the straw is left on the fields to rot, and while that means it is food for fungi and microorganisms, the ethical issues to use that for fuel weigh less (arguably) than when it is food for humans.

 

(And yes, research groups are also investigating how much straw must be left on the fields to prevent soil degradation).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in Colorado, which legalized marijuana, which means we can also grow hemp. I'd love to see biofuel from hemp seed oil, rather than using food crops like corn. Hemp will grow in areas where other viable plants won't, so it doesn't need to impact other growth or the food chain. And the rest of the plant has uses too, so it's a valuable crop that grows like weeds.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in Colorado, which legalized marijuana, which means we can also grow hemp. I'd love to see biofuel from hemp seed oil, rather than using food crops like corn. Hemp will grow in areas where other viable plants won't, so it doesn't need to impact other growth or the food chain. And the rest of the plant has uses too, so it's a valuable crop that grows like weeds.

 

The rest of the plant is actually an excellent source for the 'Second generation' biofuels, using cellulose as a source for sugars. Hemp has a relatively high cellulose content in comparison to other annual plants (e.g. grasses and other energy crops).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.