Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wedge Strategy: BIOfuel

a fuel produced by mixing vegetable oils, fats or greases with an alcohol (usually methanol but sometimes ethanol) and a catalyst.

Biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel than diesel, with lower emissions, notably the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Most commercial biodiesel is made from soybean oil, and some is already mixed in with diesel to reduce emissions.

an alcohol fuel made from distilling sugars in crops

a gasoline blend with 10 percent ethanol -- E10 -- is widely used to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. Minnesota now requires that all gasoline contain at least 20 percent ethanol.

a blend that contains 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol. Most gas stations that sell E85 are in the Midwest, where the corn is grown.


Sugar cane:
Brazil is the leader in production.

largest crop in US recieves goverment incentives.

The darkest tones are crop land and the middle tones are pastureland.

Just one wedge worth of carbon-neutral biofuels would require 1/6th of the worlds cropland. If all the corn production went towards biofules it would account for only 10% of transportation needs. It is feasible for this to help mitigate the carbon problem, but it needs to work in conjunction with all other processes. The answer is in ethanol made from switchgrass. Corn is not the answer and sugar cane is great except where it can grow is limited. Switchgrass is a weed and can grow anywhere; crop or pasture land.

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