Biofuels: the first generation to call a second. David Lefebvre.
Hardly the éthanoleries they begin their production bioethanol is seen seriously challenged. Yet this first generation biofuels called a second that repésentera a much more favorable environmental impact.
Bioethanol is currently experiencing many questioned. As announced in the agricultural and wine East in January 2007 is firstly its environmental performance is discussed again. And in particular energy efficiency. First generation bioethanol represents 43% of the total dry matter produced in the field, because it is actually drawn only from the starch. Energy efficiency evaluated to date takes into account 43% of fossil energy costs to total output. This is far from being just as opponents. A study should soon clarify the issue.
Another questioning is more critical for the new industry. It affects the tax exemption granted by the government. Gasoline is taxed at 59 cents a liter. Bioethanol enjoys 33 cents to less taxes euros. So that the price of E-85 bioethanol is around 80 cents per liter at the pump. But as cars consume flexfuel say 30% more, it is a white operation for the consumer.
According to the Confederation of beet growers, the amended finance law in preparation to provide for a 2007 40% reduction of that particular tax benefit bioethanol. In the end, it would be more competitive, an ad unwelcome at a time when grain andthe beet growers say they have invested nearly a billion euros in éthanoleries.
The HCCI engine
The solution could come from engine manufacturers with technology HCCI (Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition). This new petrol engines, but operating on the diesel engine principle to compression - Auto ignition phenomenon.
Thus, the criticisms were addressed to combustion engines not to give prospects for improvement of sobriety are no longer justified. Now, bioethanol could offer the same performance improvements as gas oil, diester or vegetable oil, which is known to work perfectly well with motors Tier 3, direct injection common rail. Already General Motors with the Saturn Aura and Opel Vectra with developed the first prototypes with the HCCI engine, 2.2 4 cylinder Ecotec. Compared to a conventional petrol engine, fuel consumption or E85 is decreased 15%. But above all, performance improvement prospects of these engines are as interesting as the diesel.
Finally, bioethanol would be accused of being responsible for the destabilization of world grain prices unbalancing supply and demand. A fairly discussed argument. The increase would actually be linked to global production deficit in 2007, particularly in Australia, higher oil prices and therefore production costs and an increase in demand driven by emerging countries such as China.
Finally, the die great hopes on the second-generation fuels to improve its image.
Their preparation is to take part not only grain but also of the vegetable part as straw, cellulose, corn straw or beet pulp. It is possible to effect a chemical conversion of this biomass fuel by BTL process - Cracking plant chains at high temperatures and synthetic diesel training. There is also a method for biological conversion, less energy, as they are chosen to biological temperatures. The microorganisms convert the fuel cellulose. in the end we get a lot more energy with the same fossil energy costs than necessary for the production of first-generation fuels. Hence greatly improved energy efficiencies.
Furthermore these fuel cellulose conversion plants are versatile in being able to convert cellulose or lignin other sectors: wood, paper, green waste ... The use and optimized plants improves the carbon footprint of the industry. Currently, a driver exists in Sweden dedicated to the conversion of fuel wood. Two other drivers may emerge in France. To have a second generation of fuel it took to help the first. Grain producers and beet growers hope the public authorities to support biofuels because the technical prospects are real.
- The second-generation biofuels in .pdf
- Biofuels of the future generation 2ième and 3ieme
- Second generation fuels BTL liquefaction of biomass by CEA
- Ecobilan of ethanol, Price Waterhouse Coopers study questioned
- E85 and biofuel Forum