Energy

Improving Biofuels for a Greener World

An increasing number of people are becoming aware of the immense potential of the alternative fuels. We know that the challenges posed by fossil fuels make biofuels an extremely important replacement. While traditional fuels continue to make up 80% of today’s energy, the list of risks and harm they produce is endless. This is where biofuels come in.

According to many, one of the most promising types of renewable fuel available at the moment is the algae-derived one. It can be used to produce biodiesel, bioethanol as well as biogas. The improvements in production processes of these biofuels are implemented to increase their viability. This article discusses various ways to achieve this goal.

Biomass Pretreatment

The pretreatment process is responsible for maximising the release of sugars, to which yeast is added for production of bioethanol and microorganisms are added to produce biogas.

By improving the efficiency of the algae pretreatment, the extraction of biofuels could be made smoother and more efficient.

There are many different types of methods available for pretreatment of biomass such as mechanical pretreatment or steam explosion pretreatment. But different factors need to be considered in order to choose the method that is most advantageous.

Fermentation

By using bacteria instead of yeast for production of bioethanol, the efficiency of fermentation process is expected to increase greatly. This can be attributed to the fact that bacterial fermentation requires much less time as compared to the traditional yeast fermentation, hence decreasing the time required for completion of the process.

However, this theory is currently still being tested which is why it is not a widely accepted option for now. One of the main concerns is that while bacteria may require less time for fermentation, it might not provide the same yield as yeast.

Advancements in Gasification

Up till now, there has been a strong emphasis on the usage of small-scale power generated biogas. This biogas can be used for commercial and domestic purposes via downgraft gasification technology. While this technology is promising, it may require huge investments for various processes like sizing and densification. Despite these concerns, such advancements are surely exciting for the field of biofuels.

Vehicle Technology

Over the past few decades, a number of innovative technologies have been introduced in an attempt to eliminate fossil fuels usage in favor of a greener future. Several advancements have been seen for instance in the form of solar vehicles and carbon-neutral technologies.

Biofuels continue to be an attractive alternative to fossil fuels for driving vehicles. Many cars designed after the year 2000 already have the ability to run on a bioethanol mix or biodiesel.

Apart from cars, other modes of transportation such as shipping and aviation are also likely to provide greater opportunities for biofuels in the future.

So it is quite evident that biofuels are indeed a promising alternative to the traditional fossil fuels. Future advancements will make these biofuels much more efficient while boosting their viability as a carbon-neutral type of fuel.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - June 6, 2018 at 7:03 am

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Shifting Trends of Global Energy Usage

The way in which we power our everyday lives has changed rapidly over the past few decades. Projections show that the global primary energy demand will have risen from 17m terajoules in 1850 (the aftermath of the industrial revolution) to 718m terajoules by 2050.

While demand is rising, driven mainly by developing economies, factors such as growing environmental concerns have prompted a shifting trend in how this growing need for energy is met.

One of the ways these changes are being tracked is through a ‘Global Energy Architecture’ which monitors the effectiveness of each country’s contribution to this move away from fossil fuels and other environmentally harmful methods of powering our world.

This concept was devised after the 2012 World Economic Forum (WEF) and since then, WEF and Accenture have compiled data on 127 countries year-on-year. These nations are rated on the following criteria: Economic Growth & Development, Environmental Sustainability and Energy Security & Access.

From these figures we’re able to determine the most and least energy efficient countries around the world.

Issues remain, however, ranging from resource and supply chain implications to roadblocks in the advocation of electrification and decarbonisation. The hope is that, through a collaboration spanning multiple nations, a course of action can be agreed upon to meet these problems head on.

Despite these setbacks, real progress is being made. Coal’s demand is due to peak by 2028, gas by 2035 and oil by 2037. This means that by 2030, we’re likely to see a real drop off in fossil fuel usage and – with advancing technology and affordability in renewables – the world seems set for a greener future.

The following infographic, courtesy of Roof Stores, tracks these shifting trends in energy usage and investigates how things will change in the coming decades on a global scale.

Global Energy Architecture

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Posted by Eco Warrior - May 14, 2018 at 7:16 am

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AI In Energy

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a term for replicated or mimicked intelligence in the machines. These machines are programmed to think and act like a human in terms of observing the surroundings and to take actions accordingly and achieve the goals. It has obtained prominence in the recent years owing to the evolving technology.

It's just not limited to the computer games or computer functions. Artificial intelligence is used in varied fields. AI is used in creating virtual personal assistants, robotics, in the self-driving cars etc. They dominate the fields of Business and services, Education, Healthcare, Finance, Law, Manufacturing etc.

The energy sector is no exception in using the aids of Artificial Intelligence.

Here is an Infographic by Fuel Fighter reflecting on the usages and benefits of using the technology and how it can further enhance in coming years with the advancement of technology owing to its features. With proper implementation of AI, the Energy sector can gain significantly.

AI In Energy

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Posted by Eco Warrior - April 26, 2018 at 6:52 am

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Bright Future – The Rise of Rooftop Energy Storage

There is a growing demand for renewable energy sources as results of global warming become more evident year on year. While you may struggle to fit a wind farm or tidal hydroelectrical system on your property – rooftop solar energy is available, affordable and on the rise.

The global community is taking steps to ramp up renewable energy programmes and solar energy is one of the most widely discussed due to its simple implementation. The ready availability and frequent technological advances make it one of the most viable options.

Solar panels on your rooftop, absorb solar energy which is then sent through the rest of the components to be sorted in the battery. This energy can then be used directly by your appliances or can go straight back onto the grid to be used by others. You are able to measure and display your solar system’s performance and status, meaning you will always be aware of how much energy you are creating, and get to know really how well solar energy is benefitting you.

With the positives for solar power becoming stronger every day; with environmental benefits, money saving, low maintenance and even monitoring and controlling your solar panels through an app – the benefits of solar power are becoming undeniable.

Learn more about the rise of rooftop energy storage from Roof Stores below.

Bright Future – The Rise of Rooftop Energy Storage

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 17, 2018 at 9:05 am

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Predicting the Future of Energy

Energy production, consumption and distribution continues to become an ever more concerning issue as we venture further into the twenty-first century.

New and emerging technologies are radically changing the ways in which we consider our energy usage. Solutions, power plants and even levels of consumer influence are all set to transform in the years ahead.

From green and renewable sources to smart connectivity, there’s an abundance of reasons to be excited about the latest developments and what they mean for our future.

To aid you in understanding what’s in store for energy production, we’ve discussed and listed our predictions for the future of energy below.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - February 17, 2018 at 8:37 am

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USA uses enough oil to fill the Empire State Building 3 times over

Oil Consumption has grown leaps worldwide, over the last decade. So has gone up, the issue of global warming & its effects. Nations are coming together to fight the menace and curb the damage as much possible. And it was a major setback, when USA withdrew from the Paris Agreement deal, as the USA undoubtedly, leads the pack of Highest Petrol Consuming Economies.

But what astounds is the amount of gasoline, consumed by the USA alone in a day. Here is an infographic that shows some astonishing figures of the petrol consumed per day by the chief economies of the world.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - October 3, 2017 at 2:24 pm

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The largest source of renewable energy per country

Renewable energy technology, development and demand is becoming evermore popular as we move towards meeting the 2020 European Union deadline of increasing renewable energy consumption to 20% of consumption.

A number of things such as environmental impact, diminishing fossil fuel stocks and unpredictable oil prices have had  impact the desire to increase the generation of renewable energy.

Between 2010 and 2014, renewable energy consumption of the top countries has effectively doubled from 168 million tons to 316 million tons of oil equivalent. RS Components latest graphic uses Energy Information Administration (EIA) data to reveal that hydropower is the most widely-used renewable power source with the global hydroelectric installed capacity exceeding 1,000GW.

What's the most popular source of renewable energy in your country? Take a look below to find out.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - October 3, 2017 at 2:14 pm

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The World’s Most Energy Efficient Countries

Annually the ACEEE (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) publishes a league table of results which charts countries efforts in terms of reducing their emissions. It was founded in 1980 and since then it aims to highlight the importance of such activities to the wider world.

Climate change in itself is a controversial topic. We saw at the COP 21 in Paris in 2015 that nations came together to sign the agreement to work on specific areas to reduce emissions which were seen to be contributing to climate change. Of course since then, the agreement has been dealt a severe blow with the withdrawal of the USA under President Trump. Whether that will eventually be turned around is anyone’s guess but in the meantime, efforts to be more environmentally aware can stretch to individual home owners because even small changes can make a difference to wider and more long term behaviours.

With the ACEEE’s chart of countries, it is interesting to see what countries “performed” best and what countries need further work. This infographic below from the people at Senator highlights that main points of the ACEEE report and examines the variables involved in the “scoring”. Check it out below.

The World’s Most Energy Efficient Countries

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 2, 2017 at 7:37 am

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The Future of Alternative Fuels

When you’re shopping for new cars these days, you don’t just choose between petrol or diesel especially considering the new push to get rid of Diesel Cars! There are lots of alternative fuels available too. Most dealerships offer a spectrum of alternative fuel motors, including hybrid, electric and hydrogen-powered designs.

Check out this Infographic to find out what’s coming in the future of alternative fuels, showing where the automotive is headed!

Future of Fuel

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 18, 2017 at 10:17 am

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Types of Solar Power Systems and How Solar Energy Is Produced

Environmental awareness is getting higher and higher and many homeowners and businesses are searching for new ways to power their buildings. Luckily, today we have several sources of renewable energy that everyone is trying to incorporate into their lives. One of the most efficient sources certainly is the Sun and its energy. To be precise, solar energy is light and heat from the Sun, harnessed by a range of evolving technologies, such as solar thermal energy, photovoltaics, solar heating, and many other solar power systems.

Another reason why solar power systems are entering our homes and businesses is because of their benefits for the environment. Firstly, solar power reduces the emission of toxic gases into the air, thus reducing the pollution. Secondly, it reduces water pollution because it doesn’t use water to generate electricity. Thus it preserves the local water resources. Lastly, since sunlight is a renewable source of energy, solar power reduces the need for finite energy resources.

How does it work?

Solar power systems, like ones you can put on your roof, produce the needed power directly from the Sun. Sunlight is directly transformed into electricity by the solar cells situated in the panels. Each solar cell is made of silicon, combined with other materials in such a way that there are some missing electrons in one part of the cell, while in the other there are extra electrons. When the sunlight hits the cell, the extra electrons in the silicon are knocked by the photons in the light and they freely flow to the missing electron part of the cell. The flow that is created thus produces the electrical current that reaches the inverter, which transforms that current into usable electricity.

Grid-tied utility interconnected systems

These systems don’t require any batteries, because they are designed to contribute power back into the existing supply, and not for back-up power. Utility interconnected systems are perfect for residential and commercial buildings because they will pay for themselves throughout the years, because they will significantly lower the utility bills. By installing these solar power systems on your roof, you are powering your home with green power which will also reduce pollution in the environment. Since this is a convenient power solution for renewable energy, you have a vast variety of models to choose from, such as the 5kw solar systems, and supply your home with clean energy and lower bills. Utility interconnected systems are designed to lower the power demands from the utility or to sell power back to the utility, in some cases.

Solar Power Demystified: The Beginners Guide To Solar Power, Energy Independence And Lower Bills

Standalone DC systems

These systems are usually a substitute for a utility power. They include solar charging modules, a charger regulator, storage batteries and controls. A smaller standalone DC system is a perfect replacement for noisy generators and kerosene lamps on a boat, recreational vehicle or a remote home. This system uses photovoltaic (PV) array to charge the batteries during the day and the battery supplies power where it is needed. The sizing will depend on the wattage of the loads and how often you are using them.

Standalone AC-DC systems

This system is similar to the previous one, but it uses DC to AC inverter. Additionally, this system can power the common appliances in your home, such as vacuum cleaner, computer, power tools, kitchen appliances and washing machines. DC to AC inverters are available with a variety of power outputs, ranging from 100 watts to 10 kilowatts. What is more, larger inverters can also serve as battery charges from a backup generator when you need more power than the solar module can supply.

We have to pay good attention to how we are using energy resources around us. Our environment is at stake, as well as our homes and health. Luckily, with massive advances in technology each year, we have the opportunity to utilize the renewable sources of energy, such as sunlight. This only results in green ways to power our homes and business buildings without leaving a trace in the environment.

 

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Posted by Eco Warrior - June 7, 2017 at 4:41 pm

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