This report will highlight all the aspects concerning the economical and environmental use of biofuels, as well as outlining the scientific and technological principles inlvolved. Furthermore, its potential for future generation is also examined in this report.
With limited fossil fuel reserves gradually becoming scarce, the need to seek out and develop primary sources of energy have intensified. Finding a clean and sustainable energy source has also become highly desirable, as the use of fossil fuel energy has led to negative repercussions on the environment (Selinus, 2005).
‘In January 2004, worldwide reserves were estimated by Oil and Gas Journal to be 1.27 trillion barrels of oil, 170 trillion cubic metres of natural gas and 1.1 trillion metric tons of coal’ (Klemeš, Jiri Smith, Robin Kim, Jin-Kuk. 2008, p. 36)  which at the time represented ‘44.6 years of oil, 66.2 years of natural gas and 252 years of coal’ (Oil and Gas Journal, 2003). Although countries such as the UK - that are part of the G7 nations promising to ‘phase out fossil fuel use by the end of the century’  - are slowly reducing their percentage of fossil fuel energy consumption, our heavy reliance on this energy source is still evident both domestically and globally with only slight changes in our annual consumption percentage (see Figure 1. 1).
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...n this is used to obtain anhydrous ethanol, this is usually done in the presence of a solvent such as hexane or benzene (Pandey, 2011). The dehydration step involves boilers and condensers at the top of the distillery column. Molecular sieves can even be added to the dehydration step and the pores can catch water molecules while it doesn’t capture the ethanol molecule.
Biodiesel involves 4 different techniques, blending, pyrolysis, transesterification, and micro-emulsification. The blending process involves blending the biomass this reduces the viscosity and helps reduce any issues with engine ignition (Sarin, 2012). The blended crude vegetable oil is then diluted with the petrol diesel and the ratio is usually between 10-25% vegetable oil and the rest is diesel fuel (Knothe, 2010). This is not a highly used method as this does reduce the performance of the engine.
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