Energy from alcohol and manure: the advantages and disadvantages of biofuels

Energy from alcohol and manure: the advantages and disadvantages of biofuels

According to the Ren21 Center, operating under the auspices of the UN program program, in 2017, about 18.

1% of all energy consumed in the world was energy from renewable sources.

In the public consciousness, “green” energy is primarily wind and solar plants, but in reality they occupy a small share even inside the renewable sector.

Green economy Less money, more effect: 10 world trends in “green” energy Two -thirds of the green energy market are bioenergy.

In 2017, it accounted for 12.

4% of all energy consumed in the world, or 12.

8 thousand TVT · h.

Using biomass for heat and energy can be divided into two methods: Traditional: burning of wood, charcoal, manure and other remnants of agricultural activity (this accounts for 7.

4% of the energy consumed in the world); Modern: the use of specially prepared biomass in solid, liquid and gaseous form (5% of world energy consumption).

Burning of wood leads to emissions of carbon dioxide, but energy notes that the trees planted specifically for this subsequently absorb harmful gases.

Therefore, despite the discontent of some ecologists, the EU authorities officially equated the biomass with renewable energy sources.

In the annual report on “green” energy for 2019, Ren21 experts studied what is happening on the bioenergy market and where it moves.

Bioenergy industry Unlike the same solar batteries, bioenergy implies a more complex production chain.

In modern energy, biomass is not just collected and burned, you need to come up with an effective way to process it (what scientific research helps) and turn it into biofuels (using the chemical industry).

Green economy Why do business fight for biological diversity 1.

Solid fuel This is the most common type of fuel for bioenergy.

First of all, it is granular wood or pellets.

In 2018, the volume of their production in the world reached 35 million tons, the fifth of which fell on the United States.

Russia is also a large manufacturer of pellets – the annual volume of products reached 3.

6 million tons in 2018, which is only half the volume of production in the United States.

Ren21 analysts note that the export of pellets from Russia last year increased by 30%, to 1.

5 million tons, while in the country of bioelectric power plant on granular wood only work by 50% of the load.

The main importers of pellets are the countries of the European Union, Canada and Japan, in which new thermal power plants that produce both electricity and heat are now actively built.

In addition to the tree, the remains of reed, peat and even processed utility waste become solid biofuels.


Liquid fuel In relation to bioenergy, liquid fuel is most often bioethanol.

In fact, it is just alcohol obtained from plant materials.

Depending on the climate and conditions, in different countries, sugarcane, corn, grain crops and so on can be raw materials.

The main area of its use is the replacement of gasoline, diesel and airline for vehicles.

In 2018, the world production of liquid biofuels of all types increased by 7%, to 153 million liters.

In terms of energy intensity, this is a little more than 8% of the entire bioenergy market.

Green economy How a cyclic economy can smooth out damage to nature Thanks to billions of investment in the production of bioethanol, the market is gradually increasing.

For example, in 2018, 150 thousand airplaces on biofuel were made in the world, five airports in the world already have the desired infrastructure to refuel aircraft.

The numbers may seem impressive, but in general more than 40 million flights are performed annually in the world, so the use of biofuel here is at the very early stage.

Two problems that chemists have to be solved: in what shares are most effective to mix bioethanol with ordinary fuel and what other raw materials can be used here.

In recent years, American industry has been trying to establish the production of bioethanol from cellulose, but so far these projects are balanced on the verge of payback.


Gaseous fuel The decomposition of biomass leads to the formation of a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, which is used in energy as biogas.

Biogaz TPPs operate mainly in Western countries: by the end of 2018 there were more than 10 thousand processing centers, about 2.

2 thousand in the United States, and in each of the 50 states.

The promising technology of Ren21 analysts call the production of biomethan by removing carbon dioxide from biogas.

On the one hand, the purification of biogas from such impurities to the level of natural gas quality will allow the use of the gas industry infrastructure, on the other hand, this will make the energy industry more environmentally friendly.

The use of bioenergy Now the main way to use biomass in the energy is heating.

A quarter of thermal energy residential and commercial buildings around the world receive from biofuel.

In the vast majority of cases, this is the use of traditional bioenergy – banal heating with burning logs is used in the poorest regions of the Earth, and it is difficult to collect accurate statistics here.

Modern bioenergy is used by the city authorities for central heating of quarters, where it accounts for 95% of all used energy sources used.

In industry, traditional biofuels are not used, and modern technologies provide 6.

1% of the needs in thermal energy.

Prospects for application, the authors of the review noted, depend on the specific industry.

Low -temperature biofuel is not suitable for steel industry, while in cement production it can successfully replace the coal used now to produce heat.

To a lesser extent, biofuel is used in transport (3% of energy consumed) and for the production of electricity (2.


The main volume of energy from biological sources in transport is obtained by cars, although the replacement of kerosene for aircraft is included in the plans of many airlines.

Green economy How “green” energy will help business in the era of innovation The use of biofuel for electricity is growing stable pace of about 7–9% per year, and in ten years since 2008 the volume of electricity developed in this way has doubled to almost 600 TVT · h.

The main trend noted by Ren21 analysts is this segment of bioenergy by a dimensional of pace in Asia (by 14-16% per year), while in North America and Europe it develops a noticeably more moderate pace.

Ultimately, the authors of the review emphasize that the development of bioenergy so far depends on external conditions at a certain time in specific regions.

For example, a good Harvest of SOI in the USA and Brazil in 2018 allowed these countries to sharply increase the production of biodesel.

At the same time, the reducing prices for sugar forced the Brazilians to introduce more capacities in the processing of reeds into bioethanol.

Whether the conditions will be further favored by the development of bioenergy is unknown.


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    In DEEPLA we talk about Green Trends that are changing our lives.
    The Green Economy project is based on the need to protect national interests while strengthening global technological trends. Why we talk about GreenEconomy? Because human activity causes irreparable damage to the environment. Until recently, people lived according to the principle "after us, even a flood." Fortunately, today the trend is changing. The development of a green economy is a direct proof of this. And in DEEPLA we are committed.

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