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Biofuels Run Your Car 81% Farther If Converted to Electricity


biofuel-electric-carI know my opinion doesn’t matter to those who matter, but it rather matters to me and probably to you, my reader. Since I saw what electricity could mean to the car industry and how it can revolutionize the way and what cars consume energy, I totally changed my mind about biofuels and other burnable liquids or solids. They are here, are working, but not for long – at least I hope so.

Eliott Campbell, from the University of California, Merced, and his colleagues found out that directly putting biofuel into the car’s tank is far less efficient than burning it in more sophisticated machinery to create electricity, and then run cars with it. Biofuel emmits CO2, but it is more convenient over fossil fuels because that CO2 is reabsorbed at the next crop of the plant that biofuel was made of (corn, for example). It seems this equation can be more efficient if we centralize the transformation of energy from chemical to electric.

In their study, the researchers have also taken into account the pollution generated by car manufacturers and by producing the fuels. They tested their solution comparatively on cars, and discovered that an electric car with the electricity obtained from biofuels goes 81% farther than if that biofuel was used onboard that car. That figure even offsets hybrid cars fed with biofuels.

Even more, in terms of air pollution, the electric car powered this way saves about 10 tons of CO2/acre compared to a similar-sized gasoline-powered car (gasoline was out of the question anyway, this was merely a brute comparison).

The facts these scientists did not take into account were the costly differences between electric and internal combustion cars, as far as sciencemag.org reports. As far as I would think, added to these are the “cleanliness” of producing the batteries that power the electric cars. They also have to evolve, along with renewable carbon-free technologies, such as solar, to give us truly clean transportation. Until then, it’s all trial and error. This discovery, anyway, shows what more and more people think: electric cars are better and are here to stay.

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  1. Many automakers have conceded that electrification of some kind — hybrids, plug-in hybrids or battery electrics — is the only way they will meet tightening Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency standards. Ford, for example, has said 25 percent of the vehicles it sells by 2020 will be electrified. The current rule requires automakers to achieve a fleet-average fuel economy of 35.5 mpg by 2016, and there is talk of increasing it to as much as 62 mpg by 2025. That and higher gasoline costs will assist electrification.

  2. At best an electric car is 12% efficient. Everytime energy transgresses it becomes LESS efficient. Dosen’t matter what you use to boil the water except maybe if you nuke it. Bio-fuel uses massive amounts of water another problem. I’m still not convinced we shouldn’t just burn what oil is left in 40% efficient “Clean Diesels.” Save the food and water for eating.


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