No, it is not a waste of energy to think about bio-fuels. There are many university studies and companies producing bio-fuels very successfully and we have to support the effort now better than later.
There are many different fields on bio-fuels depending on climate and materials used:
– converting spent oils and fats into bio-disel
– converting “green” oils into bio-disels (corn, soy)
– converting sugars into bio-fuels (celulose, corn, switchgrass into ethanol)
– producing bio-fuels by photosynthesis (algae)
All these processes are new and they don’t have market penetration yet, but they will sooner than we think because reliance on drilling for oil and gas is becoming not that attractive.
It just might be: consider that reusing waste as fuel takes up no extra agricultural land and even saves space by conserving landfill capacity. Additionally, burning waste for energy or refining waste into engineered fuels lowers the carbon footprint of solid waste management by preventing the formation and release of landfill methane and other harmful emissions from landfills. As long as waste-to-energy plants are equipped with effective pollution controls, studies have found no harm associated with living in proximity to such a facility, and fuels derived from waste can burn just as cleanly as those from any other source provided the engine is properly designed and impurities are sorted and filtered out during the refining process as needed. The largest obstacle to many such plans is the still relatively low cost of energy, although the price of both fuel and electricity continues to rise and has helped spark a renewed interest in waste-to-energy and in resource management as an important part of a path to sustainability.
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