Plans to use grass cuttings to make biofuel revealed
18 March 2010

Grass cuttings could be used as an alternative source of fuel in future.

The Carbon Trust is working with York University to investigate the potential of using grass cuttings, believing it will be possible to use microwave technology to transform garden waste into biofuel using a process called pyrolysis.

The end result is a biofuel that can be blended with fossil fuels or used as a standalone fuel source.

This new pyrolysis biofuel could be up to 95 per cent less polluting than fossil fuels, say researchers.

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: "Genuinely sustainable biofuel will be critical to help reduce the UK’s transport emissions."

The trust has also announced a consortium of British businesses lead by Axion Energy, which hope to create its first biofuel from grass cuttings by 2014.

John O'Brien

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10

18 March 2010

Finally we're waking up to the fact that the EV is not the future.

18 March 2010

[quote WooDz]

Finally we're waking up to the fact that the EV is not the future.

[/quote]

Let's hope you're right WooDz. The car is built around the internal combustion engine so to replace all this with EV or fuel cells would be impractical, hugely expensive and not cost effective and simply a mammoth undertaking, particularly as the infrastructure for refuelling cars is built around petrol/diesel. Not to mention the pathetic range of EVs or the real-world polution caused by the manufacture and disposal of batteries.

There is room for EV and fuel cells in some vehicles, if used sensibly and not forced down our throats through green propaganda, but please let's get away from forcing 100% EV or fuel cell cars and find altetnative fuels to petrol/diesel. The technology is there and at the end of the day the internal combustion engine is still the most effective, efficient and, dare i say it, possibly most environmentally friendly propulsion system for most vehicles.

18 March 2010

What is the point of wasting all this time, effort and money on "stop gap" solutions? Biofuels will never be feasible; the amount of land needed to produce enough organic matter is too great, and there is already serious issues on there being enough land to feed the worlds rapidly growing population.

Fossil fuels will run out. Forget global warming, fossil fuels are a finite supply, that is the biggest problem. They will run out before we all will (allegedly) drown from rising sea levels.

Battery packs don't suit our usage patterns, its just not acceptable to drive to a destination then wait a couple of hours for your car to recharge. I know this is improving all the time, but it will never reach the convenience of filling a tank and going.

Hydrogen is the only real answer. It can be used in fuel cell vehicles such as the Honda Clarity, or in internal combustion engines (with some modifications to the fuel line etc), aka the BMW 7 series H. I prefer this option because we can still have a V8! You can fill up and go at petrol stations that already exist. All this bollo* about costing to much to set up the infrastructure as if they are starting from scratch is rubbish. The forecourts are there, they just need to install special tanks (not that big a thing because storing petrol isn't exactly like keeping rain in a water butt!). The pumps are already in existence in the way of LPG. Making it is the biggest hurdle in the initial outlay cost and making the required quantities. But the technology is already there.

This is where people should be putting there effort, not on temporary stop gaps!

18 March 2010

[quote N0077666]Hydrogen is the only real answer. [/quote]

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Try reading The Hype about Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate by Joe Romm, who is one of the world's leading authorities on the subject. You can Wiki it for the main points but what it boils down to is - it's pretty unlikely any time soon, if at all.

18 March 2010

[quote N0077666]All this bollo* about costing to much to set up the infrastructure as if they are starting from scratch is rubbish. The forecourts are there, they just need to install special tanks (not that big a thing because storing petrol isn't exactly like keeping rain in a water butt!).[/quote] You think safely transporting and storing large quantities of liquid hydrogen is not that big a deal? Hydrogen's in a whole different league when it comes to volatility and explosion/fire risk. And that's assuming that you can produce the stuff in volume economically in the first place.

18 March 2010

Heavy man!!!

Peter Cavellini.

18 March 2010

Fuel made from grass cuttings? That truly is green!

Seriously, it'd be interesting to hear about the quantities involved. Could be useful for local councils etc..


18 March 2010

Does that mean that a lawnmower could potentially go forever?

18 March 2010

[quote N0077666]What is the point of wasting all this time, effort and money on "stop gap" solutions? Biofuels will never be feasible; the amount of land needed to produce enough organic matter is too great, and there is already serious issues on there being enough land to feed the worlds rapidly growing population.[/quote]

This seems like a feasible solution and would use something other than a food source to make fuel…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ih-DLurcZA[/youtube]

You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows
—Robert Allen Zimmerman

19 March 2010

[quote MrTrilby]You think safely transporting and storing large quantities of liquid hydrogen is not that big a deal? Hydrogen's in a whole different league when it comes to volatility and explosion/fire risk. And that's assuming that you can produce the stuff in volume economically in the first place.[/quote]

No its not a big deal. You saying petrol isn't volatile and explosive? It is true that if you mix pure hydrogen with enough oxygen it will spontaneously explode, however that is true of petrol as well. Yes extra care is needed because it will have to be stored under very high pressure to keep it liquid, but far more dangerous chemicals and products are transported every day under more demanding conditions. Even oil is more of a problem to transport... a ship runs aground and you have a major environmental disaster which has long lasting and far reaching effects. A hydrogen ship runs aground and you will have a very big bang in the near vicinity and thats it. Yes it will be a major incident but far less damaging in the long run than an oil spill.

I have read up on Joe Romm as suggested. Yes I see your points that there is a long way to go before hydrogen is feasible. However that is what I am saying about concentrating on hydrogen, which is a long term solution, rather than short term ones. There may be other long term solutions, but none as of yet seem suitable to our lifestyle as we know it. One thing that cannot be argued is that oil is a finite product. It will run out, fact. Yes there may be more undiscovered oil fields, but it is getting harder, both physically and politically to get oil. Instead of focusing on solutions which are just temporary or unsuitable in the long run, the worlds scientists should focus on the use of hydrogen (or another long term solution).

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