Biofuels can be theoretically carbon neutral, only releasing CO2 recently absorbed from the atmosphere by the crops used to produce them. Gasoline and other fossil fuels add to the CO2 supply in the atmosphere by giving off CO2 absorbed and trapped in plant material millions of years ago, but biofuels should not do so if produced sustainably.
So, using biofuels, especially those produced and used within the region in which they are created, can reduce the build-up of greenhouse gases that are said to cause climate change. In fact almost all harmful emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels are reduced when biofuels are used instead.
They can be used as a direct substitute for traditional petrol and diesel and can and are readily being integrated into existing fuel supply systems, and they are now poised to become truly big business.
Whereas in the past Anaerobic Digestion plants were seen as best developed to produce electricity, that focus which has been seen in the UK, is likely to change, with large numbers of AD Plants and also hydrolysis and gasification based systems installed to produce biofuel.
So, what does an interested entrepreneur or forward thinking farm business owner/manager do to cut through all this complexity? For example, diesel, is one of the many biofuels that can be produced from a wide range of feedstocks ranging from food crops and left-over food products like vegetable oils and animal fats, to the organic fraction of Municipal solid waste (MSW) – but is it the best one to go for?
Very soon the many options available can become bewildering.
Which are the most likely paths to a successful biofuel business? We are told that recent scientific breakthroughs have sharply lowered its production cost for the leading technology providers, but how can the average businessman be sure he can cut through the hype?
I was interested to see that Juniper, the UK waste processing and strategy consultant has recently produced a report which tackles these issues, and is for sale at their web site.
The report is called “Biofuels: A Decision Maker’s Guide to Opportunities for Converting Biomass & Wastes into Transport Fuels”.
This new report from Juniper considers more than 70 different pathways for deriving a range of fuels from biomass resources.
In their words:
“The market for sustainable transport fuels is growing rapidly, yet it has already become clear that many ways of deriving these are either uneconomic or open to criticism. So which pathways are likely to be commercially attractive? Which use technologies that are already proven and which require further technical development? These and many other issues are discussed in this new Management Briefing, which provides a succinct and comprehensive guide to the bewildering array of technologies, feed materials and output fuels that are being championed as the optimal solutions for meeting the world’s demand for biofuels.
This Guide will be an invaluable tool for investors, corporates and others interested in this market. It guides the reader through this complex and rapidly evolving sector, helping to identify ‘hotspots’ of market activity, pointing to interesting new developments and reviewing the current status of the market on a global basis.”
This should be an interesting report to many of our readers. Although it comes at a price, it should be affordable to those seriously looking to develop biofuels as a potential renewable energy business.
Further information from Juniper can be found here, and your constructive comments are always welcomed when entered into the comments box below this blog article.