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Biofuels - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Importance and Effectiveness. Biofuels. Biomass. Plant material and animal waste used as energy solid, liquid or gaseous fuel Purposes: heating, cooking, drive turbines, produce electricity Produce fuel by planting, harvesting and burning large numbers of:

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Presentation Transcript
  • Plant material and animal waste used as energy
    • solid, liquid or gaseous fuel
  • Purposes: heating, cooking, drive turbines, produce electricity
  • Produce fuel by planting, harvesting and burning large numbers of:
    • Trees (cottonwood, sycamore, willow)
    • Shrubs
    • Perennial grasses (switch grass)
    • Water hyacinths- aquatic plant
useful fuels
Useful Fuels
  • Liquid methanol
    • Produced synthetically through coal gas and steam
    • Used to make products such as
      • Plastics, paints, explosives
    • CFC in aerosol sprays
    • Used as a solvent
      • Antifreeze
useful fuels cont
Useful Fuels cont.
  • Liquid Ethanol
    • Primarily comes from distilled corn stalks
      • Also from: forestry residues and energy crops (switch grass)
    • Used for fueling cars
    • Clean renewable fuel
    • High-octane fuel
useful fuels cont1
Useful Fuels cont.
  • Bagasse
    • Material left after sugar syrup (sugar cane) is extracted
    • Used as a renewable resource in manufacture of pulp and paper products
    • Mass production in Brazil
      • Used to fuel sugar mills
useful fuels cont2
Useful Fuels cont.
  • Jatropha
    • 4 foot woody shrub with fruit that contains and oil that can produce biodiesel
    • Low maintenance shrub, 50 year lifespan
  • What is “biodiesel”
    • Fuel made primarily from oily plants
    • Used in diesel engines and usually mixed with petroleum
costs of biofuels
Costs of Biofuels
  • Biofuels are relatively cheap, however they are also not readily available
    • Ex.: In 2005 oil prices in the U.S. jumped to above $60 a gallon, where ethanol cost ¢51 a gallon.
  • Not just costly money-wise
    • 81 million tons of U.S. corn harvest produced 8.3 billion gallons of ethanol which only supplied less than 4% of automotive fuel (2007)
    • China converted 4 million tons of grain (corn) into ethanol in 2006
more info
More Info…
  • U.S. and Brazil are leading ethanol producers
  • U.K.:
    • D1 Oils planted 150,000 hectares of jatropha
  • Indian State Railway:
    • Planted 7.5 million jatropha plants
      • Used to fuel the diesel-powered carts
  • European Union:
    • 2006, produced 1.2 billion gallons of biodiesel, 417 million gallons of ethanol
green house gas emissions
Green House Gas Emissions
  • All biofuels do lower the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions compared to regular gasoline used today
myths and facts ethanol the most widely known biofuel
Myths and FactsEthanol: The most widely known biofuel
  • Myth 1: Ethanol pollutes the same amount as gasoline or more
  • Fact 1: Uhm, no. Ethanol reduces GHG emissions and if fully biodegradable unlike gasoline
    • About 20% reduction
    • Ethanol from cellulose (substance which constitutes plant’s cell wall) has potential 86% reductions
myth and facts cont
Myth and Facts cont.
  • Myth 2: ethanol cannot be produced form corn in large enough quantities to make a difference and be sustainable to society
  • Fact 2: Corn is only one source of ethanol and new methods for production are being developed
    • Corn is now world’s most dominant feed grain as well as ethanol producer (exceeding over 700 million tons produced in 2006)
    • Other ethanol producing plants include: forest residues, switch grass, woodchips, wheat straw
myth and facts cont1
Myth and Facts cont.
  • Myth 3: more energy is used producing ethanol than using it
  • Fact 3: Not true, compared to fossil fuels, each gallon of ethanol produced from corn today delivers one third or more energy than is used to produce it.
    • Energy used in production has decreased due to improved farming methods, and more energy-efficient technology
fact 3 evidence
Fact 3 evidence
  • This graph shows how much fossil energy is required to provide 1 BTU (British Thermal Unit) of each fuel at the pump.
advantages and disadvantages for using biomass fuels
Advantages and Disadvantages for using biomass fuels
  • Advantages:
    • Large potential supply
    • Moderate costs
    • No CO2 emission increase if harvested and burned sustainably
    • Plantations located where crops are able to grow
    • Potential replacement for use of fossil fuels
    • Clean and renewable resource
adv dis cont
Adv./Dis. cont.
  • Disadvantages:
    • If fuels used excessively then malnourishment may occur for people
    • Soil erosion, water pollution, loss of wildlife habitat are all potential effects
    • Plantations can start to compete with cropland
    • Low photosynthetic efficiency
      • No matter what, they are using A LOT of plants to be produced
    • Non-renewable if harvested unsustainably
      • A.k.a. difficult to harvest properly therefore causing problems
current news
Current News
  • District heating:
    • Distributing heat used in a centralized location
    • Students in St. Paul, MN used waste from nearby towns and parks to heat the city
    • Replacing use of coal and cuts CO2 emissions
  • Miller, G. Tyler. Living in the environment principles, connections, and solutions. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 2002.
  • R., Brown, Lester. Plan B 3.0 Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Third Edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 2008.