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  (Source: Alternative Resource Energy)
Could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 86 percent

Keeping in line with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that it will need 800 million gallons of biodiesel in the United States domestic market in 2011.

The EISA "expanded" the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2), which has volume requirements for Biomass-based Diesel, undifferentiated Advanced Biofuels and Cellulosic Biofuels. Biodiesel is the only commercially accepted U.S.-made Advanced Biofuel that fits the description of an undifferentiated Advanced Biofuel and Biomass-based diesel, and it can cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 86 percent when made from animal fats, agricultural oils, and waste greases. 

The EPA, under the RFS2 program, must determine applicable percentage standards "for each compliance year prior to November 30" of the year before, and then publishes it. Today's published document from the EPA has initiated the finalization of this rule and will kickstart the 2011 volume requirements provided by the RFS2.

"We applaud EPA for this announcement and for reaffirming the common sense notion that we should displace petroleum diesel fuel with Advanced Biofuels like biodiesel," said Manning Feraci, Vice President of Federal Affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. "This notice demonstrates to all actors in the fuels marketplace that the volume goals for Biomass-based Diesel provided for by law in the RFS2 program will be met and that 800 million gallons of biodiesel must be used in 2011."

The EPA hopes to mix 13.95 billion gallons of biofuels into the fuel supply, which is a total of 7.95 percent of all fuel used by U.S. vehicles. This is an increase of 1 billion gallons from the 2010 target of 12.95 billion gallons, and of this total, 800 million gallons of biodiesel must be mixed into the United States' overall diesel supply. 

Biofuel producers are concerned with whether these production levels can be reached due to biodiesel prices being much more expensive than regular diesel. Producers would like to see Congress pass a $1 per gallon biodiesel tax once again, since it expired last year, in order to make biodiesel more affordable. 



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RE: eh
By Exodite on 7/20/2010 9:12:12 AM , Rating: 2
Actually estimates may be on the low side depending on what exactly goes into the production.

Studies here in Sweden have shown than synthetic fuels created from rotting animal feces as well as slaughterhouse and food waste reduce greenhouse emission by as much as 146%.

The greater than 100% number is due to the fact that processing the waste to fuel actually significantly reduces greenhouse emissions over doing nothing at all with it. On top of reducing transports as well as not re-introducing fossilized materials into the biosphere.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that synthetic diesel is the future, it's very likely going to be there here-and-now and immediate future however. Diesel engines are generally more efficient than petrol engines and offer significantly better filtering. Add to that the ability to use processed waste as fuel instead of fossil fuel and it's win-win.


RE: eh
By MrTeal on 7/20/2010 10:09:54 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The greater than 100% number is due to the fact that processing the waste to fuel actually significantly reduces greenhouse emissions over doing nothing at all with it. On top of reducing transports as well as not re-introducing fossilized materials into the biosphere.


That seems hard to believe. I can understand that the processing sequesters the carbon in the fuel that would have normally just rotted and escaped to the atmosphere. When you burn the fuel though it just releases the GHG back into the atmosphere.

Is the effect because the biofuel burns to produce CO2 whereas the feedstock would normally produce methane?


RE: eh
By Exodite on 7/20/2010 5:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is the effect because the biofuel burns to produce CO2 whereas the feedstock would normally produce methane?

I believe that's a major part of it, yes.

Methane is a stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and filtering the burned fuel through the engine and exhaust system actually reduces the amount of greenhouse gas introduced into the biosphere.

Anyway, it's not like our modern societies have any real lack of waste to process into fuel.


RE: eh
By nafhan on 7/20/2010 11:51:52 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it'll just depend on the mixture. The higher the ratio of plant and animal derived trash to other stuff, the better. Mostly pointing out that there are likely energy consuming steps left out of the analysis.


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