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Life Cycle Assessment Module

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Background of biofuels

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Introduction

In the modern era, the need and demand of Biofuel is increasing at a very good pace. Furthermore, biofuel can be termed as a form of energy which has been produced from material of animals and plants. It can be also stated that in recent years, biofuel has emerged as one of the biggest substitute of fossil fuels. The rationale behind this is that biofuel produces very low amount of greenhouse gases as compared to fossil fuels (Chandra, Takeuchi and Hasegawa, 2012). Along with this, biofuel is also considered as very less expensive form of fuel in comparison with the other type of fossil fuels present in the marketplace. However, it can be argued that one of the major disadvantage of biofuels is that the energy output produced by them is not satisfactory. In addition to this, high demand of crops in order to produce biofuel has also resulted in rising prices of food which is threat for the entire society. Many studies and researches are been carried out in order to lower down the negative impact of biofuels and make it effective in solving various energy problems which has been faced by the entire world.

The Overview and Significance of Life Cycle Assessment

As per the view of Van der Stelt and et.al. (2011) life cycle assessment can be termed as the method in which identification and evaluation of a process is carried out (Van der Stelt and et.al. 2011). The objective behind such assessment is to find out the ways through which environmental impact of process can be minimized or lower down. In the present scenario, woods are being used and transformed for development of useful products with the help of energy and various materials. It can be also stated that Life cycle assessment of producing biofuels with the help of woods was very important in order to examine the overall effectiveness of the biofuel produced (Naik and et.al., 2010). Nowadays, experiments are being carried out with an objective to make use of waste wood for the production of biofuels and lower down emission of different fossil fuels. The framework of Life cycle assessment can be also termed as a system of life cycle inventory and boundaries of system which varies from one research to another. Further, boundaries of system are classified a process or chain of production which is being analysed in order obtain desired results. The concept of system boundaries can be well understood with an example that if crops are being grown with an objective of producing biofuels, its growth rate relies on two major factors which are the location and size of area which has been selected for carrying out the process of cultivation. Therefore, size and location will be termed as space boundaries. On the other hand, the total number of growing season which are taken into consideration for growing biofuels can be termed as time boundaries (Nigam and Singh, 2011). In the present study, life cycle assessment has been applied for the purpose of identifying the fact that whether production of biofuels from woods is suitable or not.

Background of Biofuels

In the modern era, the demand of biofuels among different industries and markets is increasing with a very good pace. It can be defined as the effective sources of energy which has been derived from plants. In addition to this, biofuels can be used in two different patterns which are by burning it directly in order to produce heat or by converting biofuels into liquid form of fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol (Park and et.al., 2010). However, it can be argued that in olden days, biofuels was used only for domestic purposes and it was the in 21st century that the demand of such fuels among industries has increased. The reason behind this is that the use of biofuels has helped businesses and many industries to lower down their greenhouse gas emission which was one of the major challenge present in front of industries. According to the view point of Sarkar and et.al., (2012) sources of energy such as diesel and petrol are limited in terms of volume and therefore one day they will be diminished as these sources fall under the category of non-renewable energy sources Sarkar and et.al., (2012). This one of the reason why several researches has been conducted in order to identify different alternatives which can be used instead of the above mentioned non-renewable energy sources. At the time of carrying out several studies, one of the best identified alternative is biofuel.

These fuels are not only cost effective but they also not create any kind of negative impact on environment. Another major reason linked with the growing demand of biofuels is that it has efficiency to lower down all damages which has been caused to living environment of people. Now the situation has emerged in which the demand of biofuels has exceeded its supply. On the other side of this, has explained that biofuels can be used among industries without any difficulty as they are renewable sources of energy ( Brennan and Owende, 2010). In recent years, the prices of oil in international market has increased to a great extent and this has also resulted in rising demand of biofuels. Furthermore, the fuel is being made with the help of by products of different animals and plant seeds. The concept of biomass energy can be defined as the energy which is present inside plants and animals. In order words, biomass energy is also termed as biofuel and it is mainly generated with the help of waste wood chips, tree components and rotted trees. It can be also explained that biomass energy is considered as renewable sources of energy as it can be renewed as and when it is required.

Different Forms of Biofuel

It can be explained that there are variety of biofuels which are present and used in different industries. One of the most common and widely used form of biofuel is Ethanol which is produced biologically. Furthermore, Brazil is the main country in which Ethanol (a form of biofuel is developed). The production of this biofuel is carried out with the help of sugar fermentation developed from different things such a sugar cane, sugar beet, corn and wheat. The core benefits of ethanol is that it can be used as an effective and easy replacement of petrol in order to run different petrol engines. Another major characteristic of ethanol is that it can be mixed with petrol in any volume or quantity as per need and requirement. The energy density which has been provided by ethanol is same as the one which has been offered by petrol. On the other side of this, Vancov and et.al., (2012) has asserted that biodiesel is another common form of biofuel which is very popular and widely used in areas such as Europe (Vancov and et.al. 2012).

It can be stated biodiesel is manufactured with the help of fats and oils and posses the characteristic of having same liquid composition which are being found in fossil diesel. This diesel has been proved as very successful and effective liquid which can be used to run diesel engines. Other than this, biodiesel can be transported safely and without any risk as it is non-toxic in nature. As per the view of Hu and Wood, (2010) methanol and green diesel are two another form of biofuels which has become popular in the present scenario (Hu and Wood, 2010). However, Duku, Gu and Hagan, (2011) has argued that the use of methanol is presently postponed because it is not viable in terms of economy (Duku, Gu and Hagan, 2011). On the other hand, research and studies are being carried out in order to make methanol as one of the most valuable and effective replacement of hydrogen which is manufactured with the help of natural gas. In order to produce biofuel such as green diesel, animal fat and vegetable oil are taken into consideration. In terms of nature, it offers some chemical qualities which are same as the petrol based diesel. In the current scenario biofuel gasoline is another effective form of the biofuel which has been developed. One of the most important feature of this is that the process of blending is not required in the same.

Production of biofuel from Waste Woods

In the modern era, more and more emphasis has been laid on management of forest in sustainable manner. The rationale behind this is that it helps in extracting carbon from environment or atmosphere during the forest growth cycle. Nowadays researches are being carried out with a purpose of creating biofuels and energy from waste woods and other renewable resources. One of the most effective method which has been developed to carry out the manufacturing of biofuels by waste woods is of direct combustion. Furthermore, it is also considered as a traditional approach or technique which is used for the production of biofuels with the help of waste woods.

The use of the above-mentioned technique not only results in generating heat to warm individuals but it is so effective that it can produce the heat required by steam boilers to run a turbine and produce electricity. The process of direct combustion of waste wood can also result in generating adequate amount steam energy for running entire train. On the other side of this. Cherubini, (2010) has argued that the process of direct combustion for generating biofuels cannot be termed as effective as during the process high volume of air pollution is created (Cherubini, 2010). However, it can be stated that the use waste wood is highly effective in the process as it results in offsetting the entire pollution which has been created during technique of direct combustion. Another process or technique which is used for development of biofuels by wood waste is of Pelletized biomass. It can be expressed that the process starts with passing of waste woods into different wood pellets which are being bound together. The use of these pellets is that it be burned to generate adequate and required amount of heat in houses (Ahmad and et.al. 2011). In addition to this, the pellets made up of waste wood can be also used for carrying out production of electricity by placing them at power plants. In order to produce biofuels from waste woods, the process of gasification of biomass can be also used by parties and individuals.

The process begins with heating up of biomass in a chamber which results in transformation of entire wood waste into gases such as hydrogen and carbon monoxide. In the second stage, the biogas is allowed to burn so that adequate steam and heat can be generated. Furthermore, the heat and steam generated is enough to develop electricity by running the turbine of a power plant (Kırtay, 2011). The advantage of this technique of producing biofuel is that it can be used by any business irrespective of their nature and size. It entirely depends on the need of producer that whether he wants to have a complex procedure or want a simple one. The generation of Biofuels with the help of waste wood is considered as second generation biofuels. One the main reason which has resulted in development of these is to overcome from the major issues and challenges that were faced by first generation biofuels which were manufactured from different type of food crops. In the production process of second-generation biofuels, waste of food crop, woods and other related organic waste were taken into consideration (Demirbas, 2011). In addition to this, it can be expressed that as compared to other fossil fuels, biofuel of second generation were consideration.

Advantages and Disadvantage of Biofuel Generated from Waste Woods

In the modern scenario, Biofuels has emerged as a unique and highly effective source which can be used for manufacturing of power and energy. The use of waste wood has always been a very effective and appropriate sources of generating energy and fire. The advantages and disadvantage are provided below as:

Advantage of Biofuel Energy

No Emission of Harmful Gases

It can be considered as the one of the major advantage of using biofuel which has been produced with the help of waste wood. According to Demirbas, Balat and Balat, (2011) the use of biomass energy or biofuel assist parties and individuals to have almost zero percent emission of harmful gases such as carbon dioxide (Demirbas, Balat and Balat, 2011). Nowadays, there are wide variety of sources related to power and energy are present but the problem with them is that they are not able to lower down or control the harmful gases which are emitted during their use (Ong and Bhatia, 2010). Furthermore, these gases are a big threat to environment, society and the people living in the same. Another effect which can be caused by the harmful gases released is damages to ozone layer and warming of the entire earth. Thus, it can be expressed that use of biofuel made up of waste wood is more effective as it does not release any kind of harmful gases.

More Effective and Clean Energy

The power and energy which is produced by biofuels or biomass is comparatively very clean and this is another major advantage of the above mentioned fuel. Government in some nation has started giving tax credits to all the businesses and industries which has started to make use of biofuels. Furthermore, the use of biofuels is also playing very important role in providing several benefits to both businesses and environment. It can be expressed that use of fossil fuels results in release of carbon dioxide which is a big threat for the entire environment (Demirbas, 2011).

Renewable Source of Power and Energy

The biofuel produced with the help of waste water can be termed as the sources which is available in excess amount and therefore it falls under the category of renewable energy sources (Van der Stelt and et.al. 2011). The reason behind this is that biofuels are generated from plants and living animals which will never fall short because of life cycle.

Lower Down Dependency on Fossil Fuels

Another advantage which has been provided by consumption of biofuel is that it reduces the dependency of people or parties on the various fossil fuels. This means that people are being encouraged to make more of use of fuels which are environmental friendly and can be renewed easily. It can be also state that wood is one of the most potential and very dense source of generating energy (Liu and et.al., 2012). Since traditional time, people have made the use of wood as an energy or fuel in order to carry out tasks such as heating and cooking. Nowadays, wood is collected from ground or in form of waste in order to produce power and energy.

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Disadvantage of Biofuel Energy

Inefficient in Comparisons with Fossil Fuels

One of the most important drawback of biofuel energy generated from animal and waste wood is that these sources of energy are not as effective as fossil fuels. This can be justified by the fact that as compared to petrol, ethanol is not vert effective (Puri, Abraham and Barrow, 2012.). However, it can be argued that in future more researcher and studies will be carried out on biofuels such as ethanol to make it more effective and useable.

More Consumption of Fuel

Another disadvantage which has been provided by or which are linked with use of biofuel is that they consume more fuel. The use of trees and waste of wood has still nor provided with the power which can run a machine or large systems.

Harm to the Environment

The use of waste wood in development of biofuel can be also considered as a big threat which can cause harm to environment. It can be expressed that the use of biofuels has provided with satisfactory results regarding manufacturing of energy and power. Furthermore, the use of waste woods provided and now people in many areas have started cutting trees to produce energy (Chandra, Takeuchi and Hasegawa, 2012). This has resulted in increasing afforestation which is a very threat to environment and people living in the same.

Results

After carrying out research on topic biofuel production from waste wood, it has been observed that there biofuels are emerging as one of the most potential replacement of fossil fuels. Furthermore, these sources are renewable in nature and thus, getting very popular along with the passage of time. The process of converting wood waste into valuable energy and power needs to be improved in the future. One of the most important benefits of using energy made up of wood waste is that the need and demand of people and parties will be satisfied in more effective manner. The demand and consumption of fossil fuels is increasing with a very good place and this will result in increasing the prices of these fuels. Therefore, it can be asserted that in the future people will look forward to alternatives of fossil fuels which can provide same performance and results in very cost effective manner. More studies and researchers will be required to carried out lowering down the negative points which are associated with the use of biofuels as a replacement of fossil fuels.

Conclusion

From the above research, it can be concluded that the production of biofuels with the help of waste wood has been emerged as an appropriate source of meeting energy needs of parties and people. It can be also inferred that the popularity and demand of biofuel is growing with a very good pace as it is providing several kinds of benefits to society, users and environment. From the above carried out research, it can be also concluded that if work and studies are carried out in right direction, the future of biofuel can become very bright. At last it can be inferred that people and parties are required to make sure that instead of cutting down forest, the use of waste wood can be encouraged in order to produce power and energy.

References

  • Chandra, R., Takeuchi, H. and Hasegawa, T., 2012. Methane production from lignocellulosic agricultural crop wastes: A review in context to second generation of biofuel production. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.
  • Van der Stelt and et.al., 2011. Biomass upgrading by torrefaction for the production of biofuels: A review.Biomass and bioenergy.
  • Naik, S.N. and et.al., 2010. Production of first and second generation biofuels: a comprehensive review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.
  • Nigam, P.S. and Singh, A., 2011. Production of liquid biofuels from renewable resources. Progress in energy and combustion science.
  • Park, I. and et.al., 2010. Cellulose ethanol production from waste newsprint by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation using Saccharomyces cerevisiae KNU5377. Process Biochemistry.
  • Sarkar, N. and et.al., 2012. Bioethanol production from agricultural wastes: An overview. Renewable Energy.
  • Brennan, L. and Owende, P., 2010. Biofuels from microalgae—a review of technologies for production, processing, and extractions of biofuels and co-products. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews.
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