Friday, August 17, 2012

What are biofuels?

CImage_9Biofuels are liquid fuels which have been derived from other materials such as waste plant and animal matter. There are two main types of biofuels – bioethanol and biodiesel.
Bioethanol is used as a replacement for gasoline and biodiesel is used as a replacement for diesel.
Biofuels represent an immense growth area around the world and have an important role to play in displacing the types of fuels the world has used in the past.

Biofuels are important for a number of reasons. Transport is dependent on finite fossil fuels such as oil and petroleum for its energy needs so it is important that we move towards more renewable and sustainable fuels.
Added to this, transport is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases and biofuels can significantly reduce transport’s carbon footprint.
Finally, it is important that Australia have domestic energy security. Australia currently imports half of its liquid fuel needs and that figure is rising. It is crucial that we have our own energy supplies so that we are not dependent upon the supply and pricing dictated by world markets.

Peak oil is the point in time at which oil production reaches its maximum annual rate after which time the annual production rate will start declining. Oil and its derivative products are a finite fossil fuel and eventually we will come to a point in time when total world oil production will have been reached.