Arguments for Biofuel v. Petroleum Continue

The comments at EcoGeek to their report, “Sweden Now Using More Biofuel Than Oil,” mostly deny any environmental benefits of biomass for fuel, especially wood.

I recently saw Fuel, the film by Josh Tickell, and wrote about it at, “Fuel Film Shows Oil Alternatives.”

The film shows Tickell’s successful quest to popularize biodiesel from waste vegetable oil in his VeggieVan until a news story spread the now widely held “biofuel starves the poor” idea. That dealt a devastating blow to biofuel adoption. I noticed that OPEC led the biofuel bashing at the time. A lucky break for the oil industry.

But not so lucky is that the oil industry’s chance of counteracting “peak oil” with new finds in the Gulf of Mexico is leaking away. That continuing hemorrhaging of crude is likely “drinking the milkshakes” of many other oil deposits in the Gulf.

Biofuel production is evolving. There are a number of production methods, some more sustainable than others. The bad ones use food crops as their feed stock, lots of water, energy (so much for being carbon neutral) and toxic chemicals such as lye and methanol.

The next biofuel generation uses non-food crops and new methods like the McGyAn process to eliminate the use of corrosive chemicals with the water and energy needed to wash the fuel clean.

The Fuel film looks forward to the realization of efficient algae feed stock, while defending the existing use of waste vegetable oil until then. Better grease than petroleum.

If that doesn’t thrill you, there’s always the promise of carbon free fusion power. Hear or watch Ed Moses June 16, 2010 speech to the Long Now Foundation about “Clean Fusion Power This Decade.”

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