A new process of creating biofuels could lead to the US becoming an exporter of oil, instead of an importer, according to Purdue University Scientists, in an online report released on March 14, 2007.
The new process is called H2CAR for "hybrid hydrogen-carbon process."
"We could use H2CAR to provide a sustainable fuel supply to meet the needs of the entire US transportation sector – all cars, trucks, trains and airplanes," said Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue's Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering.
"Hybrid hydrogen-carbon process," or H2CAR, will enable us to use our current fuel delivery system and internal combustion engines, a huge economic advantage. The method can also be used to produce liquid gas from coal without the production of Carbon Dioxide, eliminating the need for proposed dangerous carbon dioxide "sequestering," storing it in expensive environmentally 'safe' deposits. A development that environmentalists should take note.
According to the Purdue News Release, the professors involved were enthusiastically contemplating the dawning of a "hydrogen-carbon economy," with enormous potential benefits for the US economy.
"This is the first concept for creating a sustainable system that derives all of our transportation fuels from biomass," according to Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue Professor of Chemical Engineering.
Take note, when you see biomass, biofuel, think renewable resource.
The process, at least three times more efficient than present fuel conversion methods, uses many kinds of biomass, such as fuel crops, wastes, manure, wood scraps, thus reducing the total stress on the environment, with less land needed, less pesticides and fertilizers used and less CO-2 released. This more efficient fuel process could potentially produce more fuel than even future needs for transportation.
The gassification process uses hydrogen, now expensive to produce. To make the concept economically competitive with gasoline and diesel fuel, we need ways to produce cheap hydrogen from carbon-free sources and a new type of gasifier for the process. Advances in more economical production and use of hydrogen are under research and development by the Universities of Minnesota, Nevada and Wisconsin-Madison, among others around the world. Updates on these projects can be found on the Science Daily website, listed below.
Benefits include three major points.
- No carbon dioxide is produced while making the fuel or using it.
- Conversion techniques are designed to use more energy efficient power, like solar, further reducing costs.
- H2CAR can be used by conventional engines: autos, trains and planes, without expensive modifications.
Take heart, Global Warming freaks. Help is on its way.
But. It would behoove us all to keep a sharp eye on developments, lest certain corporations or foreign entities try to derail these projects, or deep six them.