Biogas From Biomass
Bioethanol is so last year. Biomass Magazine (yes, there really is such a publication) reports the latest research in biofuels is directed at producing "green hydrocarbon fuels.' While biodiesel is becoming relatively commonplace, it's based on oils derived from plants and animal fats. Green hydrocarbon fuels are second-generation biofuels made from the same biomass materials used for bioethanol, with several advantages. Since they're chemically identical to the petroleum-based fuels, they carry the same amount of energy. Unlike ethanol, no vehicular modifications are required, AND they can use the current fuel delivery infrastructure. The down side: the process to produce the fuels is much more complex than either petroleum or ethanol production, requiring the conversion of the biomass to bio-oil before the refining process can begin. Researchers are working to simplify the solution, but it'll still be a few years before there'll be a bountiful supply of biogas– at least the kind that isn't produced by a diet of burritos and beer.
In the meanwhile folks, keep eating those french fries. I've got a TDI to run here. --chuck
Hmmm... if I could make methanol for fuel from the crap of the 33 llamas I have... wouldn't that be cool!
"they carry the same amount of energy. Unlike ethanol, no vehicular modifications are required, AND they can use the current fuel delivery infrastructure" All of those problems are pretty easy to solve. There is just no reason to do so, since ethanol doesn't solve the real problems of quantity, price, and sustainability. Solve the production problems and the country would gladly build new pipelines, install new ignition and fuel systems, and increase the size of car gas tanks by 50%. Biogas from biomas suffers from the same quantity, cost, and sustainability problems as ethanol. I'm glad to see more research effort in this area because some will eventually (hopefully) figure out production.