Cellulosic biofuels

Cellulosic biofuels

Cellulosic biofuels are fuels which are produced from wood, grasses, and other non-edible parts of plants. The biofuel is produced mainly from lignocellulose. This product is found mainly in corn stover, switchgrass, and even wood chips which are the byproduct of farming and lawn maintenance. There are many advantages to using this kind of fuel, but it requires a much greater amount of processing than standard fossil fuel production, which has limited its use in the United States. However, this hasn’t stopped scientists and researchers alike from looking into the best cellulosic biofuel producers.

Switchgrass and miscanthus are the two main biomass materials which are being observed in studies today, mainly due to their high productivity per acre grown. While these two plants are at the forefront of bio-technology, cellulose is found in every natural green plant, bush, or tree. Because of this, many scientists believe with the right technology, in the future we will be able to reduce our dependence on foreign oil entirely through the burning of cellulosic biofuels.

One of the major advantages of biofuel is the fact that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions over 85%, when compared to the same amount of fossil fuel being burned. In fact, almost all biofuels, no matter the material, were able to produce less greenhouse gasses than their equivalent in fossil fuels. This means cars which run on biofuels produced from corn and sugar cane could be come a very real possibility in the future as we work to reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources.

The main problem with relying on cellulosic biofuels is the procedure in which they are produced. They must be fermented before they are combusted to produce ethanol gas, and this process requires acres and acres of space in order to function properly. However, it is estimated that more than 63 million pounds of products which could be used to produce biofuel are sent to US landfills each year. If products are recycled properly, this waste could be turned into a fuel which could power tomorrow’s cars and power plants.

There are currently three major biomass plants in the United States which are constantly working to develop new technology for converting cellulose-based plant life into a renewable energy source which could not only save money and fuel costs, but also help save the planet with reduced dependence on high emissions fuels like oil and natural gas.

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