We keep on discussing biofuels. However no article or report was yet able to destroy or even lessen my concerns about them.
- Many of the concepts use prime agricultural land
- Its manufacturing needs energy.
This whole biofuel story does not add up to anything as long as we divert agricultural land for the manufacturing of fuels that need a high energy input during manufacture. And where does that energy come from?
Biofuels are not renewable as long as the electricity generation is not.
The raw material grows “on trees”, the energy for manufacturing does not. How silly are we to believe that biofuels will solve our issues?
The report reads “low carbon” solution. Well, it’s still not a zero-carbon solution and will never be unless we clean up our energy supply. Once we have done that, however, we might as well use electric cars and use the energy directly rather than building factories, using land, carting materials around, burning stuff, …
I just stumbled across this great article:
Biofuels are recent plant material that has been converted through some combination of chemical and/or thermal processes into a liquid fuel. The main fuel products from these processes are biodiesel, or more commonly ethanol. There are numerous reasons why alcohols do not produce as good fuel as gasoline, and we present here two. First, the energy density of ethanol is only about two-thirds that of gasoline. Second, and most compelling, the energy contained within the biofuel product is nearly the same as the energy used to produce the biofuel. In other words, producing biofuels provides roughly zero net energy to society.39–43 Oil, on the other hand, produces roughly 18 units of energy per unit invested, and gasoline roughly 10 units per unit invested.44,45 These points indicate that gasoline and biofuels are imperfect substitutes and place doubt on their ability to replace oil.
So it’s not just me noticing the flaw in the conversation about biofuels, ethanols and methanols.
Hapless pro-biofuel campaigners promote ‘Drive Aid’ on the streets of London; “You know what makes me angry? Hungry petrol tanks make me angry!” Do you agree with them?
We don’t. If you think we should we feed hungry people rather than hungry cars join the call for Food not Fuel today – http://www.actionaid.org.uk/foodnotfuel