Category Renewable Energy – The Facts

Synthetic fuels (BTL)

Synthetic fuels made from biomass are a recent development. At present, there are only research and pilot systems. Nonetheless, hopes are high for biomass-to – liquid (BTL, also known as synfuel and sunfuel) fuels. A wide range of biomass – from wood to straw and other energy crops – is converted into a synthetic gas, from which methanol or a fuel similar to diesel is made.34 The process is similar to Fischer – Tropsch synthesis. Such procedures are well known in the chemical industry. What is new about BTL production is the use of biomass as the precursor; a number of problems therefore still have to be solved...

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Can carbon emissions not be avoided less expensively?

Every time fossil energy is burned, carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted. Along with other greenhouse gases, CO2 causes the green­house effect, which is changing our climate and increasing the average temperature on the Earth. There are basically four ways to prevent carbon emissions.9

1 Making fuel consumption more efficient and conserving energy.

2 Using fuels with less carbon content (such as natural gas instead of oil and oil or gas instead of coal).

3 Increasing the efficiency of energy conversion (for example, by making power plants more efficient and using cogeneration instead of getting electricity from conventional condensation plants).

4 Using more renewable energy.

Each of these actions entails costs, on the one hand, and a number of benefits (in addi­tion to lower carbon emissions)...

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