Biofuel Info

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More information on biomass and biofuel.

Information about Biofuel


Bio fuel is a natural alternative from other fossil fuels and is attained from living or biological material that has just died.

Basically biofuel is produced by using ethanol from naturally grown plant matter which allows for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly earth.

To assist in the manufacturing of biofuel, the plants and plant-derived materials that contribute to its formation includes corn, corn cob, sugar cane, soybeans, flaxseed, rapeseed, vegetable oils, waste cooking oils, animal fats, tall oil and even cow manure. However, at present the most widely used source of bioeenergy is of course wood.

Forest Sustainability

It is common for those considering biomass energy to ask: "What about the forest? In a larger role for biomass energy, will forest ecosystems become more or less sustainable?"

This is a complex, important issue. As yet there is no accepted definition of "forest sustainability." Some for example, say that wood-fueled biomass systems contribute no new carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, when the forests from which the wood came are sustainably managed.

In this case, by "sustainably," they mean that harvesting of fuel wood is conducted in ways that contribute to the health of the forest, rather than depleting it.

Biomass energy systems commonly use waste-product wood - culls from forest thinning, tops from logging or thinning operations, and/or sawmill residues. By providing a market for the low-grade wood that foresters agree needs to be thinned from our forests, biomass energy contributes in significant ways to forest health and sustainability.

Others define forest sustainability in varying ways.

Foresters themselves debate the answers to such key questions as, "What is the appropriate amount of wood to remove for a healthy forest? Should all tops from harvests be left, or only some?" The debate continues. It's a healthy one.

Emerging certification programs are one promising means of assuring that wood products have been sustainably produced. In the overall marketplace, you cannot always promise this level of assurance. Instead we tend to ask, of a specific biomass project: Is there any part of the biomass supply that is clearly not sustainable?

For instance Palm tree oil plantations have been developed over many parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, often over poor peat swamp like ground, which seemed like a great idea at the time.That is to use unproductive land to produce renewable biomass energy.

However, such things can have unforeseen consequences.What is happening is that carbon, which has been trapped in these peat swamps, is getting released into rivers, streams and in the atmosphere from the disturbance of the ground.

The result, is that quite possibly there is more environmental harm, than processing fossil fuels.

Farm Methane

Methane is a combustible gas produced by the anaerobic, or oxygen-free, digestion of vegetable and/or animal wastes. A number of projects around the country are using methane gas to generate power - and within the agricultural sector, there is growing interest in using farm wastes to produce methane. Anaerobic methane digesters can offer three key benefits to farms: power production along with odor reduction and improved nutrient management.

For farms large enough to make it work, methane recovery has these important benefits: Odor reduction. Biomass systems can significantly reduce odor, which often plagues larger farms in areas of suburbanization. Nutrient management. Water runoff from manure is a very large contributor to nonpoint water pollution in the U.S. Power production. Using an existing product to generate electricity can improve a farm's balance sheet. On farms with significant heating needs, a combined heat and power (CHP) system may make sense.

There were inconsistent results from the first generation of systems, mostly from the 1980s, for digesting animal wastes to produce methane for fuel. A new generation of commercial methane systems is now being developed and produced, with much experimentation around both fresh and time-tested approaches.
Bio Technology

Bio fuel can be distinguished as a gaseous, liquid or solid fuel and is generally used for vehicles, homes and cooking. It powers vehicles and produces heat and electricity in homes. Modern technology has even designed a system where pollution can be converted into renewable biofuel. Household, forestry, industry and agricultural waste are used to produce bio energy that can be stored for an indefinite time period. This is just one aspect of bio fuel that differentiates it from other fossil fuels and crude oil.

Bio Characteristic

Another enticing characteristic of biofuel is the fact that it is renewable unlike other natural energy resources such as coal, nuclear fuels and petroleum. In private homes, biofuel is an excellent energy solution however in an industrial scale; there are still several major problems that need to be fixed before biofuel is recognized universally. Nevertheless, with the advancement of technology and in depth studies of environmentally friendly products, it is possible biofuel can be part of the mix to solve our future energy needs as it is non-toxic and biodegradable.