Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Nov 22

Alternative Fuels Can Boost Pollution

Posted in Biofuels | Environment and Sustainability

Bioenergy A recent US study released on November 13, 2007, warns that some alternative fuels can cause more harmful greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuel polluters like diesel or petrol. For example liquid coal, often touted as an alternative to gasoline and thus a way of reducing our dependence on foreign oil, can actual produce up to 80% more global warming pollution than typical unleaded gasoline. The process of turning coal into liquid (liquefaction by hydrogenation) actually produces nearly double the level of carbon dioxide emissions that conventional gasoline does, and it is considered by many environmentalists as a huge step backward for combating global warming.


Other popular alternative fuels, such as corn ethanol, can also be more polluting. Whether corn ethanol is more or less polluting than gasoline will depend on how it the cord is grown, the study reports, and how the ethanol is produced.

The analysis for the report was based on the idea, and goal, of replacing 1/5 of all gasoline consumed in the United States with alternative fuels by the year 2030. Under that consideration, the report determined that if most alternative fuels consist of liquid coal, the change from fossil fuels to alternative fuels could actually pump pollution into the atmosphere at a rate equivalent to 34 million more cars traveling the road.

However, the report contents, a selection of cleaner “advanced biofuels” could actually cut harmful pollution. The report suggests that the cleanest alternative is cellulosic ethanol: a fuel made from biomass, such as grass and wood chips. Cellulosic ethanol could actually cut emissions by more than 85 percent.

The major contention in the report is that just because a fuel is alternative doesn’t mean it is the best choice: although we need to wean ourselves off of oil, it would be prudent to do so with the appropriate, clean, alternative fuels.

The analysis for this report was conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-profit environmental group. The report can be found here:


http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/vehicles_health/biofuels-low-carbon-diet.html

  • http://www.scienceinreview.com A. Marques

    The solutions are here… They just need some more research to perfect and make them more efficient. Nonetheless, there are powerful people who aren’t interested in shifting from oil to other energy sources. Hmmm… I’m wondering if this oil thing is profitable to someone…

  • NanoDetonator.com

    Interesting,

    I wonder where author researched liquid coal data? This is not even close to true according to several new liquid coal conversion technologies I have been researching.

    Silverado Gold Mines Ltd., (OTC BB: SLGLF) views new amendments to Regulation SHO; Final Rule as a positive outlook towards our listing on the OTC Bulletin Board.
    Please read the full SHO rules here: http://sec.gov/rules/final/2007/34-56212.pdf

    SILVERADO has been working six years with the head of its Green Fuel Division, Dr. Warrack Willson, who is an industry leader in the development of low-rank coal-water fuels (LRCWF). This fuel is made from hydrothermally treated low-rank coals (LRCs), sub-bituminous, lignitic, and brown coals. It is a low cost, non-toxic, non-hazardous and environmentally friendly substitute for petroleum derived fuels mainly in industrial and utility boilers, gasifiers, and other advanced combustors. Initial process economics indicate that LRCWF can be produced from any American LRC for under $15 per barrel, on an oil equivalent energy basis.

    Silverado’s LRCWF (Green Fuel), so named due to its environmental friendliness, is an ideal candidate for use in high pressure liquid fed gasifiers, like the one developed by Texaco now being marketed by G.E. The product, synthesis gas, can then be converted by any one of a number of commercial Fischer Tropsch proc esses to yield a myriad of clean fuels and petrochemicals. The products are free of nitrogen, sulfur, particulate matter, and heavy metals and will find many applications, including aviation and auto gasoline, diesel, synthetic natural gas, naphtha, fertilizers, ammonia, urea, plastics and many others.

    On April 9, 2007, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Congressman Roger Wicker joined other state officials to kick off the Silverado Green Fuel Demonstration Project with a ground-breaking ceremony at the Red Hills EcoPlex site.

  • Green

    First off, liquid coal is not a real alternative fuel because ‘duh’ it’s still coal and thus still a normal fossile fuel. I mean that’s like turning liquid gasoline into a solid or a gas and calling it “an alternative fuel”. Second, corn ethanol is a waste of time and resources. Switchgrass on the otherhand, produces over 1,000 gallons per acre of ethanol. Roughly the same as corn and sugarcane put together and it’s Not a food source and can be more easily grown without as much crap.

  • John Kaduwanema

    That appears to be a contradiction in terms but at least it provides an alternative view of the prevailing perceived wisdom. I wonder how the UN will react to such findings. And of course there is a danger that the “non-believers” will jump on the bandwagon and refuse to participate in any environmental projects.


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