Bioenergy Is It In Your Future

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Bioenergy is renewable energy made available from materials derived from biological sources. In its most narrow sense it is a synonym to biofuel, which is fuel derived from biological sources. In its broader sense it includes biomass, the biological material used as a biofuel, as well as the social, economic, scientific and technical fields associated with using biological sources for energy. This is a common misconception, as bioenergy is the energy extracted from the biomass, as the biomass is the fuel and the bioenergy is the energy contained in the fuel.

Biomass is any organic material which has stored sunlight in the form of chemical energy. As a fuel it may include wood, wood waste, straw, manure, sugarcane, and many other byproducts from a variety of agricultural processes.

The world is gradually marching towards a severe energy crisis, what with an ever-increasing demand of energy overstepping its supply. We have always known that the energy we use everyday is not unlimited, yet we take it for granted. Oil, gas, power, even water has limited availability. Yet, we have not taken enough precautions to deal with a possible energy crisis. When I say ‘we’, I am not referring to the governments but to all of us, the common people.

Oil and gas have already become too expensive, and with each passing day, they are moving towards being extinct. Some ignorant people think that energy crisis is a myth. They fail to see the big picture. There have been three major energy crises so far – the 1973 oil crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, and the 1990 oil-price hike, apart from several regional crisis.

Issues facing current international energy development emerge mainly from concerns over shortage in fossil energy supply and greenhouse effect triggered by climate changes. The former has resulted in continuous hike of energy prices around the globe. At a time of costly energy supply and global climate change, most countries have begun to turn to energy policies that discourage fossil energy consumption and promote energy conservation on the demand side and are committed to increasing indigenous energy source and employing alternative energy on the supply side. Development of bioenergy, as a result, has become an important option.

Bioenergy is one of the primary strategies employed by many countries to tackle the global warming, but it has also incurred adverse socio-economic and eco-environmental impacts.

Energy and food competitions used to be examined individually in time past. Yet as the scope of biofuel development expands, the two have begun to affect each other. When the food value of the grains is lower than its fuel value, more of the crops will be used for the fuel market and the food market will be involved in the race for grains supply. Extracting biofuel out of grain, therefore, may tip the balance of food supply and drive the price up.

Biofuel owes its booming development mainly to production subsidies and protection policies, such as import bans or high tariff, of governments around the world. Meanwhile, biofuel also involves non-tariff barriers. Governmental incentives and subsidies have increased the production of crops used for biofuel at the cost of reduced production of other edible crops. The resulting effect has jacked up the overall food prices and may trigger inflation pressure or economic instability.

Bioenergy should play an essential part in reaching targets to replace petroleum-based transportation fuels with a viable alternative, and in reducing long-term carbon dioxide emissions, if environmental and economic sustainability are considered carefully. Here, we review different platforms, crops, and biotechnology-based improvements for sustainable bioenergy. Among the different platforms, there are two obvious advantages to using Lignocellulosic biomass for ethanol production: higher net energy gain and lower production costs. However, the use of Lignocellulosic ethanol as a viable alternative to petroleum-based transportation fuels largely depends on plant biotechnology breakthroughs. We examine how biotechnology, such as lignin modification, abiotic stress resistance, nutrition usage, in plant expression of cell wall digestion enzymes, biomass production, feedstock establishment, biocontainment of transgenes, metabolic engineering, and basic research, can be used to address the challenges faced by bioenergy crop production.

Summary: Bioenergy is already making a substantial contribution to meeting global energy demand. This contribution can be expanded very significantly in the future, providing greenhouse gas savings and other environmental benefits, as well as contributing to energy security, improving trade balances, providing opportunities for social and economic development in rural communities, and improving the management of resources and wastes. Bioenergy could sustainabily contribute between a quarter and a third of global primary energy supply by 2050.It is the only renewable source that can replace fossil fuels in all energy markets in the production of heat, electricity, and fuels for transport. Many bioenergy routes can be used to convert a range of raw biomass feed stocks into a final energy product. Technologies for producing heat and power from biomass are already well-developed and fully commercialized, as are 1st generation routes to biofuels for transport. A wide range of additional conversion technologies are under development, offering prospects of improved efficiencies, lower costs and improved environmental performance.

Written By Free Green Concepts“The World’s First Social Networking Community For the Renewable Energy Industry”. Our mission is to educate the consumer market using information from our industry members.
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