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Bio fuels

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Austin Taylor

on 5 December 2012

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Transcript of Bio fuels

Bio fuels What are bio fuels? What is ethanol fuel? Private Interest Groups Governmental Interest The Red Cross support bio fuels, in fact they use biofuels in their vehicles Humanitarian Groups Bio fuels are fuels that mainly derive of biomass or bio waste. There are multiple purposes for this type of fuel, yet the main purpose of this bio fuels is in the transport and energy sector. Corporate Interest There are many types of bio fuels that are available, currently, a bio fuel in use is ethanol but ethanol requires the use of the edible part of corn to produce a type of petrol. This could cause nutritional problems as 40% of corn crops in North America are used for ethanol fuels. In 2011 Canada has exported 380.5 tonnes to Africa, which is not a lot so using bio fuels would have minimal humanitarian affects. In fact many humanitarian organisations support bio fuels and think of them as a step in the right direction; but if there is an increase of demand for ethnol fuel in the energy industry food prices will rise and will cause problems for low income families. In a world of increasing uncertainty for the future of oil and fossil fuel supply. That can be attributed to major conflicts and tensions in the middle east, notably a war in Iraq and tensions with Iran over it nuclear program. And above all the world is just running out of oil. But certain alternatives have surfaced, which has generated a large amount of corporate interest as some believe it will be the future of sustainable energy. The costs of making Biofuels
As biofuels are explored more and more for their energy benefits, larger and larger biofuel operations will start to emerge. But to make large quantities of biofuels, there are a number of costs associated with the process, which must be considered.

Firstly, land is not getting any cheaper and in order to produce a sizable amount of biofuels, your corporation needs to accumulate large amounts of land.

Another variable cost is the cost of the biofuel itself, for example as of today the cost of corn is 750 cents/bushel, a very significant number as in todays world there are more mouths to feed and less corn to do it, and increasing demand from energy producers will do nothing but drive up prices.

Also any corporation will also need a factory from which it can refine its biofuels, recent estimates would put a new modern plant from 20,000,000 to 25,000,000, a very sizable and consequential decision for any company. This plant will also need many people to operate, and as biofuels are a relatively new advancement the workers will need to be skilled and well versed in the operation of a plant of such complexity.

Another large cost associated with biofuels, is transportation. For petroleum products transportation is expensive, as one must build a network of pipelines to transport oil on land over large distances. For biofuels the process is agonizingly difficult, as a result of the alcohol in the ethanol and biofuels, pipelines are impossible, as they will rust. Therefore alternate and more expensive methods of transportation are required such as by vehicle. In today’s highly volatile market, there is much political instability. And in this day and age governments are searching for new more environmentally friendly ways to secure power to Canada. So naturally biofuels are included in the conversation along with renewable such as wind and solar power. So as to encourage green energy development the government has put subsidies on certain products as to encourage private companies to develop the industry. For example, in order to make biofuels economically competitive with the likes of fossil fuels, the government subsidieses the price of Canadian biofuels by anywhere from 20 to 70 percent of the retail market prices, or anywhere from 50cents to 70cents. Total government subsidies for biofuels every year averages far superior to 300,000,000$. What is ethanol bio fuel?
Ethanol bio fuel is a type of ethyl alcohol, or the alcohol from the grain. The chemical compound of the ethanol fuel is (CH3CH2OH). Example of ethanol fuel used in daily life are: wine, beer, liquor, and any other type of alcoholic beverages. How ethanol fuel is made The first step of this process are to get ethanol fuel from corn, is to get the kernels from the corn and to grind it until it turns into a powder. When it is into the powdery substance, we go into the second step, which is to heat and to liquidity the powdered kernels which makes it into something a starchy "mash". When the mash is created the third phase is to get specific enzymes (Alcohol dehydrogenase) in the "mash" for it to become fermentable sugars (sugars that are able to be fermented). When the third task is completed, the fourth task is to add yeast to the fermented sugars to ethanol. In the fifth and final step is quite long. Only 10% of the container will be the fuel and the rest will be water. When heated, you must add distilled alcohol and about 2-5% of gasoline to create ethanol fuel. The steps on creating ethanol fuel There are plenty of steps to create usable ethanol fuel. The production of ethanol fuel is from the use of yeast to convert sugar into alcohol. This type of fermentation process has been used for thousands of years, although on a much smaller scale.

As of February 2007, North America created an estimate of about 5.6 billion gallons of ethanol fuel. Not including the 6.2 billion gallons per year under construction, creating about 11.8 billion gallons of ethanol fuel all over U.S. Green Peace believes that "Used wisely, biofuels can be part of the solutions needed for a fossil fuel-free future" Environmentalists Opinions Many environmentalist organizations believe that biofuels are one of the more ecologically friendly sources of energy that could replace fossil fuels in the near future. But there are also down sides of bio fuels. Biofuels will put result in smaller yields of crops. We also have to think of the many people in the world that do not have electricity.
The WWF helps influence governments to create policies to promote biofuels and helps financial institutions to develop a sustainable biofuels sector.

policies ensure that:
-Biofuels contribute to slowing down climate change
-natural resources are protected
-impacts on soil erosion, degradation and water use and pollution are limited
-the use of pesticides is reduced
-negative impacts, including economic exclusion of vulnerable local and indigenous communities, are avoided
-true market transformation for the production, supply and consumption of commodities are encouraged by governments and the private sector In addition to large companies interested in the development of biofuels, there are also numerous smaller organizations that have an interest in the development of biofuels. Some notable examples of these are certain organizations, like agriculture advocate groups who will continue to lobby the government for continued support in the way of subsidies for the price of corn. Or other notable groups are consumer advocate groups, Who will be fighting for the average consumer, who may be opposed to the use of biofuels as it would create extra unnecessary cost to both rate payers and tax payers alike. So like these examples there are many examples of smaller organizations that have their own opinions to the use of biofuels and government involvement in the process. Conclusion The Benefits of BiofuelsAs we have seen, there are many challenges in the way of costs for any companies that are invested in the sales of biofuels, but given a prosperous for green development, biofuels can be quite beneficial for some corporations, however like all business not every company will be successful. But in a place like Canada where the government is very favourable to the prospect of green enterprises some companies can be very successful, some companies that seem to have found a working business model like the Hamilton based BIOX, which owns a 67 million liter per annum biofuel plant. And last year their sales went up to over 27 million dollars in the second quarter from 11 million the quarter before. Now BIOX is a relatively small energy company compared with some of the oil and gas company’s out of Alberta like Calgary based Husky Oil, which registered over 24 billion dollars in profit in 2011. But as BIOX demonstrates on a small scale, with the proper government support and market conditions there are company’s who can turn a profit by developing green energy. To conclude, after our research into ethanol fuel, our prognosis is as follows. That bio fuels have the possibility to provide Canada and Ontario with large amounts of clean and environmentally friendly energy. However, it is also our opinion that the costs and the consequences of the utilization of bio fuels, such as the fossils fuels required for the transportation and the energy required to produce them, the capital required by both governmental and private corporations offset the environmental benefits and this negates most of its advantages. And while being clean and eco-friendly may help put a government in office, the reality is they would be of little or insignificant benefit at a large cost to the citizens of Canada and Ontario. Can Biofuels become a major contributor to Ontario’s energy split?
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