AbCarbon Neutral Renewable Fuels

The world has seen the devastating results of the oil industry with crude oil prices shooting over 35 % in just months. Other countries have been more concrete on their import as well as export and have limited the overall surge in the oil prices. Many oil rich countries are now at the very verge of depleting their internal oil reserves. Reduced oil supplies have become a global issue that requires immediate directive changes and exploration of new sites. Many countries are now harkening on a different path and gaining momentum in different avenues to ensure that their transportation and industrial sector does not suffer due to oil prices and non-availability.

Though the depletion of the oil resources has hastened the revolution of finding and streamlining new avenues that can provide electricity, fuel and energy, the research to find other lucrative resources is an old and never ending exploration. Sweden has been working for the last ten years to ensure that their country become oil independent by 2020. It is a bold government strategy to align the entire county with other price efficient means of energy.

The other cause that has concluded the research for energy producing alternatives is the extensive amount of CO2 emissions across the world. The overall effect of the millions of cars that have been manufactured across the globe over the last 50 years has created a major havoc in the atmosphere. CO2 emissions have become an environmental hazard and now renewable and potentially carbon-neutral fuels - are back on the agenda. Carbon neutral fuels assist on ending the dependency on fossil fuels altogether. Moving forward with carbon neutral ingredients, countries need to ensure that their ingredient or ingredients are truly abundant and easily traceable and can cater to the huge capacity requirements of energy. The wide-scale production and use of bioethanol as a substitute in Sweden alone will be one of its main weapons in helping the country to 'kick the oil habit'.

Carbon neutral renewable fuels have a pertinent requirement in synchronizing with the current automotive technology and the existing fuel supply infrastructure. Petrol pumps should easily be able to distribute any type of carbon neutral renewable fuels and the automobiles are still able to provide the luxury, speed and reliability on a different liquid medium. The European countries have seen a significant hike in E85 (85% ethanol/15% gasoline) pumps during the last 5 years. However, development was slow in view of the very small number of 'flex-fuel' cars on the road at that time. Steady expansion began in 2002 and last year (2005) the number of filling stations with E85 pumps doubled to more than 750, or about 5% of the European network. This sudden change in movement has also changed the manufacturing of the automobile industry. Cars are now being manufactured that cater to the duel tank requirements and provide the means to “fill the tank” with other ingredients that are not derived from fossil burning. Carbon neutral renewable fuels originate from a plethora of different sources and stems from different natural processes. Brazil is able to generate ample amount of bioethanol from its wheat and barley produce and is the largest exporter of bioethanol in the world. Not only is Brazil the largest exporter of this commodity, nearly all Brazil's domestic road transport needs are currently being met by bioethanol at a lower cost than the world market price of gasoline.

Other countries have been successful in producing other carbon-neutral fuels from a myriad of natural produce. Sugar cane crops as well as by products from wine making have all been successful in generating this requirement. In Europe, Spain is currently producing carbon-neutral fuels from grain for use as an additive to gasoline. There are also small production facilities in France, using by-products from wine making, with plants also planned in Holland, Italy, Ireland, Germany and Portugal. However, the most efficient feedstock for the production of carbon-neutral fuel is neither corn nor sugar, but 'bio-mass', in the form of straw, organic waste or wood clippings and forestry residue. A recent survey by the Swedish government indicates that the carbon-neutral renewable fuel is the only lucrative way to ensure a seamless migration to the overvalued oil prices.