Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bio-fuels - Extraordinary Possibilities

Bio-fuels: Extraordinary Possibilities
Bio-fuels have been known to be an excellent replacement for traditional gasoline and diesel for years.  Fossil fuel production, especially when obtained through hydraulic fracturing, can cause significant damage to the environment.  Eco-Enthusiasts have gone to great lengths to make their cars compatible with this new fuel.  These people have the will and desire to be completely free of fossil fuels.  Sadly, none of these bio-fuels have actually achieved any real traction.  Most people, especially those with busy schedules, have not gone to such lengths and have instead decided to avoid the hassle and cost of converting their vehicles.  No car company or energy company has come up with a solution to this problem.
 Part of the problem, which is typical of new technologies, is that the cost of purchasing this new equipment is too expensive for the customer.  Furthermore, obtaining bio-fuels in the open market, especially in the United States, is significantly more difficult than obtaining gasoline or diesel.  It is also difficult for the leadership of publicly traded companies to convince their shareholders that making an investment/risk in the bio-fuels market would actually pay off in the near-term.  Shareholders, in most cases, want to do what is in their financial best interest and not necessarily what is in the best interest of energy independence.
Bio-fuels do have a bright future when they can be applied to a market driven economy effectively.  Designs must be highly adaptable and attractive to the end user.  For instance, a successful Eco-friendly vehicle would have a solar panel on the top of the car, a battery plug in on one side of the car, and port for filling bio-fuel on the other side.  By giving the end user a variety of options you make the vehicle more attractive and marketable.  With a mix of wind, solar, hydroelectric, and wave energy, these bio-fuels can allow society to end its dependence on fossil fuels.
The one thing that is lacking in the discussion is a solution that does not put Automotive or Energy Companies in a defensive posture.  Actually, an Energy and Automotive Company partnership would have the greatest chance of successfully designing, building, marketing, and distributing bio-fuel cars to the marketplace.  A partnership like this makes sense because the organizations have a symbiotic relationship with each other.  This partnership would also allow both organizations to reduce the risk inherent in a significantly challenging investment.  Ironically, there are already some groups trying to figure out how to produce bio-fuels out of organic waste.  Mass producing such a concept would help drive the conversion from gasoline/diesel to bio-fuels.

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