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Environmental Science - Research Paper Example

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Alternative Fuels Instructor name Date Oil is a finite resource, its availability and price unstable. Oil also contributes to air pollution and enriches brutal dictatorships such as Libya and oppressive monarchies like Saudi Arabia…
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Environmental Science
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Environmental Science

Download file to see previous pages... According to all peer-reviewed scientific studies, if the quantity of greenhouse gasses being spewed into the air by automobiles, power plants and factories is not greatly reduced and quickly, the earth and its inhabitants will experience catastrophic consequences in the not too distant future. This paper will discuss the viability of various alternative fuels such as hydrogen, bio- fuels, solar, geothermal and nuclear sources which if put into practice on a wide scale would significantly reduce air pollution and perhaps circumvent the predicted effects. One solution to reducing automobile emissions may be found in vegetable fields. The conversion of corn or beets into ethanol is promoted by scientists as an environmentally and economically sound solution to global climate change concerns. However, this is hardly a new revelation. Rudolf Diesel, in 1897, fifteen years after the inventing the engine named after him said “The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today. But such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal products of the present time” (Boles, 2005). ...
Bio-fuels are derived from a readily accessible source and emit no pollutants. The most familiar kind, Ethanol, is a vegetable oil which is most often be mixed with gasoline and bio-diesel. It can be burned by diesel engines without altering the engine. Ethanol, a ‘green’ fuel, could be used as a bridge to the future of consumption and energy production because it can be used in existing engines unlike hydrogen. Another by-product of the bio-fuels industry is tit will ‘fuel’ the growth of agricultural businesses. Regrettably, it takes significantly more energy (from high-grade gasoline) to create ethanol than it produces. It takes approximately70 percent more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than is contained in a gallon of ethanol. In addition, “fossil fuel is used in the production of corn or any crop used for ethanol and by increasing ethanol production will increase degradation of vital agricultural and water resources and will seriously contribute to the pollution of the environment” (Pimentel, 1998, p. 5). European country’s both produce and consume close to 90 percent of the world’s bio-fuel. Brazil makes up most of the remaining 10 percent. Brazil produces more bio-fuel than it consumes and does not import crude oil. The South American nation is energy independent and among the lowest producers, by capita, of greenhouse gasses. The quantity of bio-fuels produced and consumed is predicted to grow significantly over the next decade. “It is possible that (bio-fuels) could represent as much as 20 percent of all on-road diesel used in Brazil, Europe, China and India by the year 2020” (“Biodiesel”, 2006). In the U.S., the production of bio-fuels grew six-times during a two year period ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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