Archive for February, 2008

Feb 17 2008

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Biofuel: A Short Review

Ethanol, as in beer and wine, is an alcohol modified to utilize it as a fuel and making it undrinkable. Ethanol is produced by fermentation through a method similar to beer brewing of any biomass containing carbohydrates. At the present time, ethanol is derived from starches and sugars however there have been constant research to allow it to be produced from fibrous substance which consists the bulk of most plant matter – the cellulose and hemicellulose. Ethanol is widely used as a blending agent with gasoline to boost octane and at the same time reducing carbon monoxide and other toxic smog-causing emissions.

In contrast to other renewable energy resources, biomass, an organic material, can be converted directly into burnable fuels, termed as “biofuels,” to assist in meeting transportation fuel demands. The two most widely used types of biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel.

On the other hand, biodiesel is produced by the combination of alcohol which is usually alcohol with vegetable or animal oil/fats, or recycled cooking grease. In order to lessen harmful vehicle emissions, it can be utilized on its pure form or as an additive (normally 20%) as a renewable substitute fuel for diesel engines.

Biodiesel and ethanol are both clean, grow-your-own fuels which can be produced on-site in local villages or communities from locally available, renewable resources, for the most phase using equipment that a local workshop can make and maintain. This can make biofuels an economical option to fossil fuels and can aid in strengthening local communities both socially and economically.

Cleaner burning energy sources lessen the toxic pollutant emissions produced by burning gasoline, and it cuts down on the dumping of used oil. Another gain is that many alternative fuels can be generated, while oil is a non-renewable resource. Demand varies, and there is always the possibility of discovering new reserves. In the contrary, fact remains that the supply may well run out one day. Present estimates predict that world oil production will reach its peak some time in the next 10 to 15 years. It thus makes sense to search for new alternatives before that day arrives. In addition, a much-hyped reason is that lessening dependence on oil will, in turn, reduce dependence on unreliable foreign oil.

Biofuel is made from agricultural crops developed in the different parts of the United States and other countries as well. Increased utilization of biofuel can generate new markets for American products. A number of jobs can also be produces especially in rural communities. As a result, it can keep the money circulating all the way through the domestic economy. Moreover, it promotes American energy independence just by generating a percentage of our fuel at home.

More importantly, biofuel is capable of improving the performance of your engine. Biofuel is a “quality” fuel that cleans your fuel system, increasing octane and lessening harmful emissions, all of which help to lengthen the life of your vehicle. As an alternative to this “traditional” diesel fuel, biofuel is expected to yield significant energy security and environmental advantage to its consumers.

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