Category Archives: Environment Conservation

Biofuels and bio-based chemicals production technologies

Biofuels have the potential to lead to a near-term paradigm shift from the use of crude oil and petroleum products to a crop-grown biofuels as a source of energy.

Biofuels refer to a wide range of fuels derived from organic materials such as grass and wood (cellulosic biomass), and crops such as sugar cane, corn, starch crops (potato and fruit waste), soybeans, vegetable oils, bio-gases e.t.c. These organic based alternative energy material sources are referred to as biomass.

The term biomass can be defined as a source of alternative energy that can be used for the production of biofuels such as ethanol fuel, and biodiesel using the conventional technology.

There is a significant public and scientific interest in advancing the biofuel production technology, driven by the factors such as rapidly rising prices of crude oil, the need for increased Energy Security (lessen the dependence on the use of foreign oil), and increased concerns over greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels.

Ethanol fuel is the most widely used biofuel in the world. It is widely integrated as a transportation fuel in Brazil. Ethanol fuel, like many other biofuels, is made from biodegradable materials and products, which makes it an environmentally safe alternative to fossil fuels.

If the United States invests its resources into the development of the cost effective ethanol fuel production technologies, then it could decrease its dependence on the use of foreign oil, strengthen its national energy security, decrease a chance of conflict due to crude oil shortages, and reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.

US dependence on foreign oil

The United States is already involved in a marginal production and use of ethanol fuel as the alternative to gasoline. A wider integration of ethanol fuel is quite plausible if it receives some solid governmental support. There is a good chance of resistance from corporate oil giants.

There is also another promising biofuel technology called Algae fuel also known as oilgae. Based on laboratory experiments, it is claimed that algae can produce up to 30 times more energy per acre than land crops such as soybeans. If this technology becomes commercially integrated, then the United States could fulfill and replace its petroleum needs by allocating the amount of land that is roughly equivalent to the size of Maryland for algaculture (farming algae).

Prediction:

My prediction is that biofuel energy sources will continue to be further developed in the U.S, but not enough to make the U.S. Independent on the use of foreign oil by 2025. It is highly unlikely that the U.S. will actually be able to fully integrate the use of biofuels as part of alternative sources of energy, mainly due to the resistance and vested interest in the continuation of petroleum use by the corporate oil giants.

Energy Storage Materials

The technology dealing with Energy Storage materials and devices such as advanced electric batteries, supper capacitors and hydrogen fuel cells.

Many world conflicts and tensions are the results of competition for finite resources. Fossil fuels and Oil are the primary sources of energy in the U.S, and in the world as a whole.

From the geopolitical standpoint, the United States have become increasingly dependent on the use of foreign oil, which is not only bad for the environment, but also threatens our National Security.

The development of Energy Storage Materials Technology could eventually reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and help us make a transition towards using electric batteries, supper capacitors and hydrogen fuel cells as energy sources for automobiles, buses, trains, and transportation system in general.

Integrating Energy Storage Materials Technology would strengthen are military by allowing our military vehicles, and weaponry technology devices to operate in a more remote areas with decreased dependence on fuel sources.

The use of super capacitors could also lead to the development of new and improved military weaponry systems.

The advanced electric batteries could make our electric vehicles run further and faster, and help protect the environment by reducing the carbon for print.

The use of hydrogen fuel cells could reduce / and eventually diminish the need to use petroleum products to operate cars, buses, trucks and trains.

The hydrogen fuel cell research is well underway and there is some possibility of developing a technology that would allow split the water molecules to obtain hydrogen in an energy efficient way.

If these technologies are developed and implemented in the near future, then the U.S. will not only benefit in terms off geopolitical independence, but could also assume the leadership in providing this technologies to the rapidly developing countries of Brazil, China, India and Russia.

Although it’s hard to make any sort of accurate prediction as to how the development of these technology will progress, it is clear that it could benefit the U.S. and many other industrialized nations in the world as well as have a positive impact on the world climate.

Countries of the European Union, and Japan are also engaged in the rapid development of Energy Storage Materials. Toyota motor company, a Japanese auto manufacturing Company is planning to introduce a hydrogen fuel cell car by 2015. This a new development from Toyota concept cars that has made its debut during the negative publicity of Toyota Prius Hybrid Vehicle.

Many companies are engaged in the development of advanced batteries that could store a significant amount of Electric Energy to make these batteries viable as a source of energy for the electric vehicles.

Solar Energy, Wind Turbine Farms, and geothermal energy technologies are also being developed, which will help further reduce the dependence on foreign oil, and help the conservation effort. Further development of these technologies and their implementation with green buildings, and energy production plants could mark a gradual shift from fossil fuels to alternative and renewable energy sources.

Alternative Energy Guide

Alternative, green or renewable energy is energy that is derived cleanly, with minimal effects on the environment. Using alternative energy can reduce pollution, and the use of renewable sources ensures that power will always be available in the future. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy sources will not run out.

Alternative energy can be used on a commercial basis, it is also possible to use it on a small scale, in a single green building. Alternative energy can be very important if you are hoping to create a green building, whether you are working on a new build or converting an existing property. By incorporating some system of producing green energy into a building, you can significantly reduce the environmental impact of living in the building.

If you are considering using alternative energy in a green building, then you should spend some time thinking about the range of different options which are available. These include wind, solar and geothermal power. It is possible to use alternative energy to supplement your conventional supply of electricity, to provide all of your electricity, or to heat or pump water.

Wind turbines can be used to convert the power of the wind into electricity, although they are also used to pump water. There can be a lot of variation in the size of wind turbines and in the amount of power which they can produce. Small wind turbines can be an excellent choice for home use, particularly in locations that receive plenty of wind. Some are small enough to mount on a roof, while others are usually placed on a separate structure. However, wind turbines cannot produce any energy when the wind is not blowing, so they cannot be relied upon as a single source of energy, without some type of storage.

In some locations, it may be possible to use a turbine driven by the power of water rather than the wind. Water power can be used when building near moving water. It can provide a reliable source of energy since streams and rivers are constantly moving. Water turbines are available that are designed for small scale use, although they tend to be less readily available than wind turbines since their use is location dependent and only a limited number of building projects will be able to use them.

Photovoltaic solar panels, solar laminates and solar shingles can be used to generate electricity. They tend to be fairly expensive to install although the maintenance costs are low. Photovoltaic cells are usually able to produce electricity on overcast days, but they cannot be used at night. Another source of power or a storage system is, therefore, required. Solar power can also be used to heat water rather than to generate electricity. This usually works best in warm and sunny climates. Installing a solar water heating system can be very cheap.

Geothermal energy can be used to create large amounts of reliable electricity and heat in suitable locations. It uses the thermal energy, which is stored in the earth and which is usually most accessible in areas that are near the boundaries of tectonic plates. However, as the technology develops, it is becoming possible to use geothermal energy in other locations.

Geothermal heat pumps can be used anywhere. The ground is less prone to temperature fluctuations than the air, so the temperature underground is usually warmer than that above ground in the winter and cooler in the summer. By burying pipes underground, it is possible to pump heat up into a building during the winter, or to draw heat out of the house and down into the ground during the summer. Geothermal heat pumps can therefore be used to heat and cool a green building. The pump itself will require a source of energy, which should ideally be a renewable one such as a wind turbine or solar panels.

If you want to be completely reliant on alternative energy, then you will probably want to incorporate a number of different technologies into your green building, and you should also think about investing in some type of an energy storage system such as a high capacity accumulator, if you are using an intermittent source of power, so that you will have power even when it is dark or when the wind is not blowing. Making your building as energy efficient as possible can also help you to ensure that you will be able to meet all of your needs using alternative energy.