Can you generate electricity with biofuel?
For years, much have been said about biofuels and how these can be used in generating electricity. There are even some power generation plants that make use of biomass in producing fuel for heating and operating furnaces. However, there were claims that solid is more ideal for producing electricity through biofuel.
Key Qualities of Solid Biofuel
There were several proponents of solid biofuel as a means for generating power. The main point behind this is the obvious fact that storage is much easier and less complicated as with the case of liquid fuel. There is no need to build special tanks for solid biofuel, which reduces the hassle in building specialized containers for storage purposes.
Another practical feature of solid biofuel is there the convenience in terms of mobility. Soild fuel is burned on the site, and this is the only reason for transporting it. Since there is no problem with loading this type of fuel on a vehicle, then it is regarded as not only practical, but convenient, as well.
It is also worth noting that most facilities are generally tolerant of imperfections such as debris and contaminants. Fortunately, there is no need for biofuel to have a consistent quality for the purpose of generating electricity. With this in mind, the cost of storing biofuels is cheaper since it can produce power even if it is not entirely pure or has a consistent level of quality.
In addition, biofuel is renewable, so it is possible to reuse waste products for other purposes. Factories involved in paper production can reuse waste products in generating electricity and heat. Thus, this minimizes costs on heating, waste disposal and electricity. Overall, these help the environment due to reduced emissions and pollutants.
Challenges with Biofuel
While biofuel may offer numerous benefits and functions in terms of energy production for transportation, heating and electricity generation, there are some concerns to take into account. The use of waste biomass may be inexpensive, yet it can be far from being economical to grow crops for the sake of burning them and generating power.
There is also a concern with biomass as being pollutants. Since one of the goals is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there are studies on how to generate electricity without having to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Hence, solar power and wind power have received much attention from scientists since these are cleaner and greener alternatives to power production. Although the technologies linked with these alternatives are also intricate and challenging to implement as with biofuels, the reduction in emissions is a striking difference between the two.
Further Details on Biofuels
Biofuels come in different forms such as liquid and solid. Liquid biofuels are obtained from oils including soybean oil, palm oil, rapeseed oil, and animal fats (chicken fat and tallow). There are also waste materials including sewage that may be used in growing algae, which can be used as fuel.
It has been predicted that there is a possibility for fuel obtained from algae to produce about 30 times more energy for every acre than what soybeans and other crops can generate.
There are also liquid biofuels with a normal state in the form of solid. However, once heated, this material turns into a liquid that contains a combustible form of energy. As discussed previously, solid biofuel is more commonly preferred because of the ease in storage and transportation.
Biodiesel has gained popularity due to its use as a main fuel source. In fact, it can be used to fuel engines whether alone or combined with regular petroleum diesel. Biodiesel is formed with the combination of animal fats or vegetable oils and ethanol or methanol.
This type of fuel contains the same properties that can be found in diesel fuel that is petrochemical-based. However, it is important to make sure that the engine is designed to take in biodiesel to prevent any adverse impacts. It is essential to consult your car dealer or manufacturer to ensure the proper functioning of the vehicle if you intend to use biodiesel.
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To sum it up, biofuel can be used to generate electricity, as well as in running vehicles. Yet, there is a need for further studies in terms of its production and usage to counteract the massive expenses linked with growing plants for power generation purposes.