Biofuels for Today and Tomorrow

Biofuels are becoming more frequent in today’s conversations, as knowledge and interest continue to grow worldwide. The information in this article will discuss what biofuels are; what has been accomplished so far with biofuels; and what some of the future projections are for research and development in biofuels. The global consciousness of biofuels and the role they play in alternative energy need to be refined through further education and awareness. The more educated the word becomes about biofuels and alternative energy; the more likely it will be that these alternative energy options will become staples of our everyday existence.Biofuels are the results of processed biomass. References to biomass include solid biomass, liquid fuels, and various biogases. Solid biomass is also referred to as solid biofuels and includes wood, sawdust, grass cuttings, agricultural waste, dried manure, non-food energy crops, charcoal, and domestic waste. Suitably formed biomass can be burned directly. For example, firewood can be burned directly in a furnace or fireplace. Liquid fuels are, generally, derived from fossil fuels. However, there are other alternative sources, such as hydrogen fuels used with automobiles. One noted and interesting characteristic of liquid fuels is that the fumes are flammable and not the actual liquid. Biogases are a biogenic material. It is made through the fermentation of biodegradable materials like manure, sewage, green waste, or plant material.Biofuels research started some 34 years ago. This research was reported to have been initiated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The NREL is the United States most primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. Cellulosic ethanol is storming the frontline of biofuels research and is evolving into one of today’s most integrated biorefinery concepts. The research and development of cellulosic ethanol has proven itself to be rather multifaceted, as to require the joint efforts of the ethanol producers, cellulosic ethanol pioneers, major oil companies, biotech firms, and chemical firms.Currently, the United States is focused on enabling the development of cellulosic energy industry. This is also a priority of the NREL, who has voiced their resolve to get the cellulosic ethanol industry established and functional. They expect to expand technologies, systems, and fuels. Sustainable biofuels need to be addressed as well. Further, examination of the physical and chemical properties of biofuels is also warranted. At some point, thermochemical conversion may supplement current ethanol conversion research. Additionally, aquatic species will be researched for their biofuels and alternative energy potential.Knowing what and how biofuels offer and improve our global alternative energy potential and implementing these cost cutting energy saving techniques and processes could only prove advantageous to current social environments for generations to come. Each concerned individual should make a conscious effort to spread the word on biofuels and alternative energy to at least one person. This will ensure that the information does get passed along and preserved. Although a far slower method, it is still a valid form of communication. Do some research and educated yourself about what can be done to ensure a prettier greener future for the today and tomorrow’s generations.

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