Bio-fuels are made by converting organic matter into fuel for powering our modern society. These bio-fuels are an alternate energy source to the fossil fuels that we currently depend upon. The bio-fuels umbrella contains under its aegis ethanol and derivatives of crops such as sugar cane, and also vegetable and corn oils. Yet, not all ethanol products are designed to be made use of as a type of gasoline. The International Energy Agency (IEA) informs us that ethanol could comprise up to ten percent of the world’s usable gasoline by 2025, and up to thirty percent by 2050. At this time, the percentage figure is two percent.
However, we have a long way to go to refine and make economic and functional these bio-fuels that we are looking into. A study by Oregon State University proves this. We have yet to develop bio-fuels that are as energy efficient as gasoline derived from petroleum. Energy efficiency is the measurement of how much usable energy for our demanded purposes is derived from a certain level of input energy. (Nothing that man has ever put to use has derived more energy from output than from what the needed input was. What has always been critical is the conversion – the end-product energy which is what is beneficial for our needs, while the input energy is only the effort it takes to generate the end-product.) The OSU study identified corn-derived ethanol to be only 20% energy efficient (gasoline made from petroleum is 75% energy efficient). Bio-diesel fuel was recorded at 69% energy efficiency. However, the study did deliver one positive: cellulose-derived ethanol ended up being charted at 85% efficiency, which is even more higher than that of the fantastically efficient nuclear energy.
Of late, oil futures have been down on the New York Stock Exchange, as analysts from a variety of different countries are predicting an increase in bio-fuel availability which would offset the value of oil, reducing crude oil prices on the world market to $40 per barrel or thereabouts. The Chicago Stock Exchange has a grain futures market which is beginning to “steal” investment action away from the oil futures in NY, as investors are absolutely expecting better profitability to start coming from bio-fuels. In fact, it is predicted by a consensus of analysts that bio-fuels shall be supplying seven percent of the entire world’s transportation fuels by the year 2030. One certain energy markets analyst has reported, growth in demand for diesel and gasoline could possibly slow down dramatically, if the government subsidizes organizations distributing bio-fuels and further pushes to increase the use of environmentally-friendly fuel.
There are a variety of nations which are seriously involved in the growth of bio-fuels.
There is Brazil, which happens to be the world’s biggest producer of ethanol fuel produced from sugars. It produces approximately three and a half billion gallons of ethanol a year.
The States, while being the world’s biggest oil-guzzler, is already the second largest manufacturer of bio-fuels behind Brazil.
The European Union’s bio-diesel production capacity is now greater than four million (British) tonnes. 80 percent of the EU’s bio-diesel fuels are created from rapeseed oil; soybean oil and a marginal quantity of palm oil comprise the other 20 percent.
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