What do professionals think about biofuels. A couple of weeks ago I asked a simple question on the business-related community, Linkedin. These
are some of the responses I got. I had to edit them, some were very full indeed.
Without a doubt, biofuels are being hyped up. As oil supply peaks and demand increases, biofuels at best will provide a maxiumum of 10% of that demand.
Mark Huber answers a question with a question
What would we humnads do if we were faded with a truth that none of this is sustainable and we must find a radically different solution?
Spencer Whetstone says
Ethanol is a hoax perpetrated by the political class to subsidise farmers in Iowa because of its ridiculous importance in presidential politics.
Juan Cristobel Garcia:
Biodiesel and bioethanol have demonstrated tat the work well in engines with a good life cycle analysis. The problem is that first world farmers cannot produce the needed amount of biodiesel and bioethanol. When land owners in Souther Asia cut down a tropical forest to cultivate jatropha then life cycle analysis is dramatically bad.
Nevertheless, if oil reserves are used then, any fuel will be good enough.
Almost every region has waste biomass, wether it is corn stalks and leaves, olive pits, sunflower seed hulls. These can be pelletised or baled for combustion in todays highly efficient and modern biomass stoves.
Are we sure that it takes less energy to make a litre of biofuel than there is in the biofuel?
The major challenge will be to get the feedstock prices lower (and predictably lower and improve on the present generation of technology, which is sub-optimal. New or modified feedstocks with higher oil content will be needed.
Ranjit Mathoda recomend's Vindod Koshla's take on biofuels and has a thoughtful piece about bioethanol on his blog.
Rachel Cochrane helped to write this post.