Sunday, July 29, 2007

Biofuel a recipie for disaster

People are raving about biofuel. Experiments and even commercial implementations of biofuels are available now. Then, there's a problem.
Somebody sent me an email. It says that CPO is used to make biofuel, but it is also an ingredient to make cooking oils. Now, people are more interested in exporting CPO to countries outside Indonesia. This creates a higher price of cooking oil.
I don't know whether the above story is accurate, but definitely the price of cooking oil is skyrocketing in Indonesia. I guess, that above scenario is possible. If it is true, then biofuel is a recipie for (price) disaster in Indonesia.

What do you think?


Rani said...

for certain! Not only that, but forests land will be converted into CPO plantation, destroying biodiversity and wildlife habitats. In mexico, corns, which are staple food there, are sold to USA to be converted as ethanol, driving corn price like crazy. Similarly, soybean farming in brazil is destroying their rainforest.

The only solution for sustainable world is using solar or wind energy. Any combustible fuel is recipe for disaster. That's it.

Iman said...

solar, wind, steam, nuclear is full proof technology for the future.

one interesting fact from germany, they have oversupply of potatoes since the govt will buy potatoes fr farmer to produce spiritus (blue ethanol ?). However, potato price are still very cheap there. Disclaimer: potato for fuel is definitely different species from potato for pommes/fries.

Harry Sufehmi said...

There have been simulations that shows that wind turbines are able to alter the climates when deployed in quantity.

Solar cells are still to expensive and produces too little energy at the moment. Hopefully it'll change soon.
But I've got a feeling that somebody will manage to create a computer simulation that shows it changing the climates as well in quantity.... oh well.

Geo-thermal & nuclear seems to be the most sustainable ones.

But geo-thermal energy require crazy amount of initial investment, which deters investors (especially when there are other more profitable energy sources).

Nuclear energy needs to be handled & disposed of very carefully. I don't think it's safe yet to deploy it here in Indonesia.

So far the energy from dams seems to be doing okay, although initially it destroy massive amount of land (and its ecosystem) to be converted into a lake.
And dams are indeed very expensive.

Anyway, I think the main questions are fuel / energy source for vehicles.

Indeed so called biofuel solution need to be reexamined more carefully for its impact on the environment.
We need a solution which will fulfill our (crazy) needs, and doesn't destroy the earth itself.

Hydrogen seems to be quite promising - it's available in vast quantity, and produces no toxic output. Just need to find a way to synthesize it in mass production scale perhaps ?
And definitely the energy needed to synthesize it must be much lower than its output.