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Liquid Fuels

The use of more efficient energy carriers will typically correspond directly with higher levels of income, correspondingly inadequate access to modern energy is both a determinant and a manifestation of poverty.

Sebastian Junger in an article in Vanity Fair describes very eloquently why liquid fuels are so valuable: "one tank of gas from a typical S.U.V. has the energy equivalent of more than 60,000 man-hours of work - roughly 100 men working around the clock for nearly a month. That is the power that the American consumer can access for about $60 at the gasoline pump. If gasoline were a person, we would be paying 10 cents an hour for this labor"

The global community firmly recognizes the centrality of energy services for achieving all Millennium Development Goals to bring people out of poverty. At the ninth session of the Commission for Sustainable Development, held in 2001, it was concluded: To implement the goal accepted by the international community to halve the proportion of people living on less than US$ 1 per day by 2015, access to affordable energy services is a prerequisite.


Biodiesel is a renewable alternative for diesel and Ethanol is a renewable alternative for gasoline. Renewable Diesel, FT Diesel and Biobutanol also hold out the promise of alternatives for petroleum derived liquid fuels.

Energy Ratios

Fuels require more energy to produce that they contain. Gasoline needs 1.25 gallons of gasoline equivalent energy to extract, process and deliver one gallon of gasoline to the consumer, representing an Energy Ratio of 0.80

Fermented corn Ethanol delivers approximately 30% more energy than the fossil fuel inputs required to grow, transport and process the corn into Ethanol fuel, representing a Fossil Energy Ratio of 1.3 and an Energy Ratio of 0.25.

Biodiesel is much better at a Fossil Energy Ratio of approximately 3:1 and future predictions have cellulose ethanol up around 7:1.

Feed Stocks

Soybeans and corn are the current feedstocks of choice for the existing biodiesel and ethanol producers. Corn, soy oils, animal fats and other vegetable oils can only take the biofuels industry so far, so the industry is looking for complimentary sources of feedstocks to boost the feedstock supply.

Cellulose ethanol is the holy grail for the ethanol industry as it opens up the feedstock supply base to many different types of material. Cellulose ethanol is produced using a much less energy intensive process. so dramatically improves the well to wheel ratio of ethanol.

Algae holds out the promise of order of magnitude improvements in yield per acre over soy and is the biodiesel holy grail. There are two basic approaches to cultivating algae for fuel crops, closed, CO2 enhanced photobioreactors and open pond systems.

There are a number of technical challenges standing in the way of commercialization of both cellulose ethanol and algae derived diesel.

Flex Fuel Vehicles

A Flex fuel vehicle only needs software to adjust the engines ignition timing for any fuel/air mix and all the vehicle's fuel plumbing made of materials that will not corrode in the presence of an Alcohol based fuel like Ethanol.

The problem with only making these changes is that Ethanol has less energy per gallon when compared to gasoline so the vehicle suffers mileage and performance degradation. In countries that sell a lot of alcohol based fuels like Brazil, the alcohol fuel has to be priced significantly lower than gasoline to educe consumers to buy it over gasoline.  

However, alcohol based fuels like Ethanol and Methanol run cooler and enable an engine to run at a higher compression ratio than the same engine running gasoline. Taking advantage of these fuel properties enable an Ethanol powered vehicle to easily exceed the mileage and performance that can be achieved using straight gasoline.

None of the flex fuel vehicles on the market today offer variable compression ratios on their vehicles, so one has to ask are they really flex fuel vehicles or just vehicles that can use alcohol base fuels. There are some devices out there like Honda's VETC or Electric Powered, camshaftless valve train that allow an engine to vary it's compression ratio to suit the fuel making the engine a true flex fuel vehicle. Nissan has their Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) and continuous valve timing control (C-VTC) technology that allows the engine power output to be controlled without a throttle, BMW's system is called Valvetronic.

The ideal variable compression ratio device is the turbo charger as it can make an engine perform as if it has the right compression ratio on all fuels ranging from gasoline to Ethanol. The problem with turbo charges is that they need exhaust gasses to work, so turbo's are known for their turbo lag. Superchargers overcome this problem but have mechanical losses at high RPMS that rob power, so is the answer, the electrically powered turbo charger?



http://www.aquaflowgroup.com Marlborough, NZ Algae in Pond
http://www.algaefuel.org Algae Fuel Team - San Francisco
http://www.algaelink.com Algae Link - Dutch PhotoBioreactos
http://www.algenolbiofuels.com Algenol - Ethanol from Algae
http://www.bioprodukte-steinberg.de Bioprodukte - Germany
webworld.com/cellpharm/products.htm BioFence
http://www.cehmm.org CEHMM - New Mexico Algae initiative
http://www.earthrise.com Earth Rise - Calipatria, CA
http://www.GreenFuelTechnologies.com  Green Fuel - BioReactors
http://www.oilgae.com Oil from Algae - Portal
http://www.kwikpower.com Kwik Power
http://www.nanoforcetechnologies.com Nano Force Technologies
http://www.irccm.de/greenhouse/index.html IRCCM - University of Bremen
http://www.inventurechem.com Inventure - Tacoma, WA Algae
http://www.martek.com Martek - Omega 3s
http://www.petrosuninc.com Petro Sun - AZ - (PSUD)
http://www.scrilab.org Santa Cruz Algae Project
http://www.solixbiofuels.com  Collaboration with USC Ft Collins
/advbio/97-98/minicoil.html Sewage Sister's home grown
http://www.solazyme.com Sola Zyme - Menlo Park, CA
http://www.psaalgae.org Phycological Society of America
http://www.utekcorp.com   NREL Transfer to English
/pond_scum.cfm Utah Pond Scum Project
http://www.veridium.com Veridium - Owned by Greenshift
/group/oil_from_algae/ Yahoo Algae Msg Board
http://www.valcent.net   Valcent - Algae Developers
http://www.algae.wur.nl/UK/Home/ Wageningen University

Biotechnology & Biology for Fuel Production

Amyris Biotech - Malaria and Fuel
Arcadia bio - veg oil in grasses
http://www.ls9.com LS9 - Biotechnology & Biology


http://www.biodiesel.org National Biodiesel Board
http://www.mycoinnovations.com Mycofuel - Sugar fed fungi oils

New Fuels

http://www.butanol.com Butanol Portal
Dimethylfuran (DMF)
http://www.virent.com Virent - Biomass to Gasoline or H2


http://www.ethanol.org Ethanol
http://www.efuel100.com E-Fuel - Los Gatos, CA
Blue Green Algae with Yeast
Lanzatech - Ethanol from CO
RedOx - Electrochemical Synthesis

Depolymerization Links

http://www.catalyticdepolymerization.org Catalytic Depolymerization Portal
http://www.cleanenergyprojects.com Clean Energy Project
http://www.kior.com Kior - Catalytic Biomass to Crude
http://www.thermalnet.co.uk EU Nextgen Biofuel Portal
http://www.thermaldepolymerization.org Thermal Depolymerization Portal
http://www.ussec.us US Sustainable Energy

Gas to Liquids

http://www.biomassec.com BEC - Biomass to Gas
du/faculty/lehmann/biochar/Biochar_home.htm Cornell BioChar Portal
http://www.eprida.com Eprida - Biogas and Charcoal
http://www.fischer-tropsch.org Fischer Tropsch (FT) web portal
http://www.syntroleum.com FT Fuels
http://www.sasol.com South African FT company
Skyonic - CO2 to Baking Soda
Velocyc- Micro Channel Gas to Liquid

Renewable or Green Diesel

http://www.bp.com BP Australia /
http://www.conocophillips.com Conocophillips / Tyson
http://www.arbokem.com CANMET System Tall Pitch Oil
Neste Oil
Red Wolf Refining - RD with water
http://www.uop.com UOP - Ecofining with ENi

Pyrolsis Links

http://www.btgworld.com Biomass Technology Group


Pyrolysis development Company
http://www.eprida.com Charcoal and Black Soils
http://www.ensyn.com Ensyn - Biomass to Bio Oil
http://www.pytecsite.com PYTEC Thermochmische Anlagen GmbH
http://www.pyne.co.uk Pyrolysis development Network
Fortum Pyrolysis development Company
ESI Pyrolysis of Sewage to Bio-Oil
http://www.aston-berg.co.uk BERG Development Effort Aston
http://www.compactpower.co.uk Uk based waste to oil
http://biorefinery.sref.info/ Universsity of Georgia dev site
http://www.ifp.fr EDDITh Thermolysis Process France

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