• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Ethanol hydrogen and other renewables

Page history last edited by Malcolm 9 years, 7 months ago

Ethanol and Renewable Liquid Fuels


I am disappointed to learn that bio-fuels in their present form may be doing more harm than good. I took this from George Monbiot's article in the Guardian in December 2005 Worse than Fossil Fuels which shows how sections of forest with huge carbon content are being burned to plant palm oil trees for European bio-fuels. The European Union is trying to remedy this problem with new EU Biofuel Rules. The World Bank urges caution. In USA the EPA tests the net emissions of CO2 from corn oil and other sources. Unfortunately Malaysian business has extended the practice of clearing rainforest to plant palm oil to the Amazon.


More recently (2013) advances in the science have brought some hope. Willow with High Sugar Content  Eco Friendly Hydrogen Source


It is unlikely that consumption of fossil fuels can be drastically reduced without the use of renewable liquid fuels for transportation. Adapted cars can currently run on 85% ethanol, as many leading makes do in Brazil, and conventional cars can use 5% ethanol without adjustment.


Ethanol has been produced primarily from grain surpluses in USA but this method of production would not enable the world transport fleet to operate even if all the arable land in the world were used. More efficient ways of converting sunlight and carbon dioxide into oxygen and liquid fuel (via vegetation?) must be found. Could Aquahol be an answer? Or could the problems of hydrogen be overcome?


Ethanol from cellulose has been developed and should proceed to large scale production as an intermediate step before other more efficient routes are developed. New York has won the race with the Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in March 2009 with a capacity of 200.000 gallons per year. There is also concern that Jatrpha and similar invasive species may prove a danger to local agriculture.


A neat solution could be to turn The World's Garbage into Biofuels as from the tonnages involved 80% of the world's gasoline could be produced from these renewables.


The big gap is the use of bio-fuels in aircraft. Would a return to turboprop technology enable bio-fuel to be used? Are there other ways? Boeing, Virgin and others are starting to tackle this problem. A recent hope is a New Fuel from E-coli being developed by the University of California and 2 or 3 times more powerful than ethanol. It would also appear that fuel from algae would be suitable for aircraft. In 2010 there appears to be more optimism.


Biomass has been included below for completeness but it appears to cause more problems than it solves. It will inevitably be part of the solution in some countries until virtually all combustion can be outlawed.





Group members

  • Malcolm
  • Tom Holloway (Warwick District U3A)
  • Peter Ridgway (Spelthorne U3A)


New Fuels

  1. E-coli producing propane in UK and Finland 04/09/14 
  2. Cellulosic Ethanol Delayed  25/01/14
  3. Seaweed Fuels 27/01/12 
  4. Argentina and Exxon Back Algae Biodiesel   30/08/10
  5. Green Jet Fuel from Algae  27/10/10 
  6. Algae Fuels by 2011 23/04/09
  7. Algae Potential 06/11/09
  8. New Fuel from E-coli 09/01/09
  9. Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant live 03/03/09
  10. $100 million for Algae Fuel in 3 to 5 years 19/09/08
  11. Microbe power 21/10/07


Fuel From Waste

  1. Tightening Biomas Regulations to benefit CHP 20/07/13
  2. Optimism in Airlines for Biofuels 24/07/10
  3. British Airways Modest Biofuel Plans 16/02/10
  4. The World's Garbage into Biofuels 05/10/09
  5. Ethanol from Watermelon Waste 01/09/09
  6. Compost Bug brings Biofuel Hope 20/08/08
  7. US behind target for Ethanol Production from Waste 05/03/08


Ethanol and Biodiesel


  1. EU Curbs Crop Based Fuels  12/07/13
  2. Jet Fuel from Tobacco  in South Africa 07/08/14 
  3. High Ethanol Fuel Threatened  28/11/13 
  4. Biofuel Method from Ants  20/06/13
  5. Willow with High Sugar Content  27/01/13 
  6. Biofuels Damage Bio-Diversity  27/11/11 
  7. Dangers of Agrofuels 20/09/09
  8. Sweet Sorghum Ethanol better than corn 17/05/08
  9. Jatropha Dangers to pasture 21/05/08
  10. Bioelectricity for Better Miles Per Acre 09/05/09
  11. Jatropha Oil for Airliner 02/01/09
  12. Wind and Hydrogen Synergy with costings 2008
  13. Biodiesel from Seaweed planned in Italy 02/10/08
  14. Green Gasoline Research 30/04/08
  15. Ethanol from Cellulose  2008
  16. Big Plans for Algae to Ethanol 12/06/08
  17. Boeing Developing Biojet Fuel 02/03/08
  18. EU Biofuels Battle 22/04/08
  19. Biofuel Complexities - World Bank urges caution 09/05/08
  20. Ethanol is water and energy intensive 20/03/08
  21. Brazil - pioneers of bio-ethanol all leading makes 20/03/08
  22. Microbe Converts Cellulose to Ethanol 22/08/07
  23. First British Bioethanol 01/12/07
  24. Ethanol from waste sugars 09/02/08
  25. Aquahol Eco Car Fuel could be an answer
  26. Worse than Fossil Fuels?
  27. Grain Ethanol Damage
  28. Sweden Proposes International Biofuels Market 13/08/07
  29. EU Biofuel Rules to remedy damage.
  30. Jatropha for Biodiesel looks better but could we get enough?
  31. New Biodiesel Crop in US NW could meet 10% of needs 15/11/07
  32. China Biofuels Danger
  33. Thailand Biodiesel Targets
  34. No Till Cropping Needed
  35. Cellulosic Ethanol Plant
  36. Celulosic Ethanol Difficulties
  37. Straw and Wood Chips race in USA
  38. Biofuels - a cure worse than the disease Guardian article by George Monbiot
  39. MIT report on direct injection of Ethanol to reduce knock onset


Fuel Cells, Hydrogen etc.

  1. Eco Friendly Hydrogen Source  11/04/13 
  2. Calithrates Studied for Hydrogen Storage  24/01/12
  3. Hydrogen Storage Breakthrough  18/03/11
  4. Progress Towards Microbial Hydrogen  21/09/11 
  5. Advanced Steam Reformed Hydrogen research 26/07/09
  6. GM launches 100 fuel cell cars in Jan 2008 - 30/10/07
  7. Thorium Laser Cars  04/09/11 
  8. Hydrogen Fuel Advances in liquid compound form 28/08/07
  9. Hydrogen Cities target 2010 in California 08/10/08
  10. Hydrogen Fuelled Cross-country 25/08/08 
  11. Hydrogen Vehicles v Inefficient Prof Mackay 15/05/09
  12. Rare Organism Produces Hydrogen 09/07/08
  13. New Thermoelectric Material uses waste heat 02/08/08
  14. Sugar to Hydrogen Breakthrough  03/03/07 
  15. Garbage into Gas Bankok 02/10/07
  16. Safer Hydrogen Propulsion 4/09/07



Biomass Not the Answer 28/04/09

Advanced Biofuels Stoke Warming 24/10/09


Comments (1)

Charlie said

at 7:04 am on Mar 18, 2021

Unsure how things are around the world. Australia are now promoting dual fuel, liquid fuel and electric, or straight out electric cars. This sounds good because at the same time alternative to coal and gas electricity generation is being taken up. However, the process of making solar panel and components for wind and wave generators must be examined. Ensuring they use the best practice and materials and don't become major polluters themselves.

Then there are the surcharges that government in Oz are certainly considering. Any way they can get money from losing the fuel excise. https://thedriven.io/2020/11/21/shameful-victoria-follows-south-australia-and-imposes-electric-car-road-tax/

You don't have permission to comment on this page.