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Don’t Discount Biofuels
by John Gardner (Xconomy) ...I have had the privilege of spending the last year in an effort called Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest and learned much from over forty stakeholders in the project. Let me offer four observations that give me some optimism about the viability of next generation biofuels.
...First, it is now the consumers (not the producers) of the fuel looking for diversity – they seek a reliably sourced portfolio of biofeedstocks – not one silver bullet. Second, unlike ethanol and biodiesel, these new biofuels are distillates or ‘drop-in’ fuels meaning they can be blended and are compatible with petroleum’s infrastructure of refineries, pipelines, and storage. Third, these consumers are demanding global accepted standards for sustainability. Very pragmatic, in exchange for their backing of these new biofuels, they want assurance the supply chains are net energy positive, that carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced, and they contribute to the environmental, economic, and social health of the region from which they are sourced and used.
...Even the improvements in fuel efficiency for aircraft have surpassed the rate achieved on the ground, and next generation planes and flight paths will achieve over 100 passenger miles per gallon. One can only hope the future of efficient transportation will involve allocating the appropriate sources of energy (petro, biofuel, electricity, etc.) among the transportation modes best suited for the task. Integrating airport hubs, rail corridors, truck, car, bus, bike, walking and other ways of getting around all need to be optimized. READ MORE