Concepts for Biofuel Production Model
The world will run out of fuel to power our transportation within the next couple generations. The pollutants and greenhouse gases that we our emitting while using the remaining fuel has a negative impact on the earth’s biosphere. Our dependency on foreign oil does not support the economy of the US; while we are supporting unstable countries in the Middle East. The price of gasoline is approaching the point of being unaffordable for many. It is obvious that our reliance on fossil fuels is causing problems that have to be addressed. Biofuels are an important and necessary renewable resource. We must increase the development and production of biofuel in order to reduce and slowly replace gasoline as our primary transportation fuel. Although many people know the potential of biofuels, they have trepidations. There are several significant concepts that are overlooked in the discussion of biofuel production, which could offset the main obstacles and concerns. The common liquid biofuels which are made by the fermentation of plant and organic matter are ethanol, butanol, octanol, and octane. Corn is the most common crop used to produce ethanol. There are several other field crops commonly used. It has been thought that in order to collect enough plant biomass, we need to grow and harvest crops. Although this has opened the opportunity for more profits to farmers, many people are concerned that food sources are now competing as a fuel feedstock. Agricultural land that has to be used to grow food crops are often now being used to produce biomass for ethanol production. Biofuel feedstock can also compete for irrigation water. These factors will likely result in an increase in the cost of food, and potentially food shortages. This has already began to become a problem despite the fact that ethanol is a very small percentage of our current fuel source. If it ever becomes a primary source of fuel, there could be a true crisis. The...
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