Sunday, October 16, 2005

Soybean car

Manure, restaurant grease, tree trimmings, rice straw are all great examples of "one person's garbage is another person's treasure. Once thought of as intractable, problematic wastes, they are suddenly the basis for huge new markets as raw materials for electricity and fuel. Soybeans, rapeseed oil, and other crops suddenly are much more than food - they can run cars and buses.
They are called "Biofuels" - electricity and fuel that is generated from plant matter. The two most common types in the U.S. are bioethanol and biodiesel. Biodiesel is a clean burning fuel made from domestically produced renewable fats and oils - most commonly soybean oil. It has similar fuel economy and performance as conventional petroleum diesel. Ethanol is now the third-largest use for corn after animal feed and exports.

Tests show its use results in a 90% reduction in air toxins, according to the National Biodiesel Board. Rather than contributing to the waste stream and pollution, energy crops open a new market for agriculture, conserve soil, and reduce global warming.

Bioenergy is less expensive than other renewable energy sources and can be delivered through the present energy infrastructure. You can pump liquid bioenergy into your car at the "gas" station as easily as oil. Using renewable energy sources to meet our needs reduces our dependence on foreign oil and non-renewable resources in general.


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