Biofuel IS IT REALLY AN OPTION ?
The corn or grain needed to fill the 120 litre tank of a 4WD could feed one person for a whole year.
Worldwide corn production for ethanol has tripled from 19 million tonnes in 2001 to 55 million tonnes in 2006.
In the US 54 new ethanol distilleries are under construction, demanding a further 39 million tonnes of grain every year.
While prices for corn and wheat are already at historic highs, rising fuel prices and increased demand by ethanol refineries are likely to push them even higher, making basic food too expensive for the about 2 billion people who already spend over half their income on food.
A SMAL SCALE Both biodiesel and ethanol are clean, grow-your-own
fuels that can be made on-site in small villages from renewable,
locally available resources, for the most part using simple equipment
that a village blacksmith can make and maintain. BUT industrialised
countries are looking to the Third World to feed their [fuel]
addiction: the land is there for the taking as is cheap labour, and
the environmental damages of large plantations, biofuels extraction
and refining can all be outsourced, exactly as they were in the
extraction of crude oil … there simply isn’t sufficient
arable land on which to grow all the biofuel crops needed to satisfy
the voracious appetites of the industrialised nations. Clearing
forests releases more greenhouse gases, and displacement of crops
puts further strain on the food security and biodiversity of poor
growing supposedly clean green renewable and sustainable biofuels crops by means of unsustainable industrialised agriculture monocropping methods with their heavy dependence on fossil-fuel inputs is hardly the best way of replacing fossil fuels.
TYPES OF BIOFUEL
Biofuels are fuels produced from renewable organic sources. Biofuels are alcohols, esters, and other chemicals made from cellulosic biomass such as herbaceous and woody plants, agricultural and forestry residues, and a large portion of municipal solid and industrial waste. The term biofuels can refer to fuels for electricity and fuels for transportation.
Ethanol is an alcohol, most commonly made using a process similar to brewing beer where starch crops are converted into sugars, the sugars are fermented into ethanol, and then the ethanol is distilled into its final form. At present, ethanol in Australia is produced from wheat starch or from C-grade molasses, which is derived from sugar cane. Although it is possible to produce ethanol from agricultural residues, wood waste and grasses (also known as lignocellulosic ethanol) this technology is still under development.
Ethanol produces higher volatile emissions through evaporation and more nitrogen oxide emissions compared with fossil fuels
Ethanol produce photochemical smog, or ground level ozone, the cause of the "brown haze" that sometimes shrouds Australia's most populous city Sydney
Ethanol "escape from the tyranny of oil", but its benefits in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in particular carbon dioxide (CO2), are small in the scheme of things.
We measure the CO2 used in fertilising the crop, plus transportation, plus machinery, plus when you burn it in the car.
We add that up and offset it against the CO2 absorbed by the sugar cane when it's growing and the answer is it's a little bit favourable.
Biodiesel, a green replacement for diesel, is produced by converting the triglycerides in products like tallow- animal fat from abattoirs and new or used oils such as soybean, canola, coconut, hemp and vegetable cooking oils from local food outlets into highly oxygenated compounds.
Biodiesel is biodegradable, requires minimal engine modification when used either as a blending component or as is, and is cleaner burning than the diesel it replaces
can be blended with conventional diesel fuel or used as a neat fuel
(100 per cent biodiesel). Biodiesel is typically used as a
fuel additive in 5 percent (B5) and 20 percent (B20) blends
with petroleum diesel in compression ignition (diesel) engines
At the local level, the worldwide community of biofuels homebrewers have developed cheap, effective and safe small-scale production methods that produce high-quality fuel and that anyone can use. There are now many kinds of independent small-scale local operations producing and using millions and millions of gallons of biofuels a year, growing fast.