Team 5 (Florida A&M University, faculty advisor - Raymond L. Hix), Topic 3: What is the best individual solution to meeting the world's growing energy demand?
Tuesday, November 13, 2012: 4:15 PM
Lecture Hall, Floor Two (Knoxville Convention Center)
No single strategy will provide a sustainable solution to the world’s energy demands. Biofuels can fill a major part. Biofuels are renewable energy sources such as biodiesel, ethanol, methanol, biogas, methane etc. Fossil diesel is used to powered locomotives to pull freight trains around the world, diesel trucks for transport, and ships. The land area needed to grow quantities of food and feedstock does not have to compete with land used in production of bio-fuel. Biofuel production should be done on marginal and reclaimed lands using reused water. Scientists have taken interest in a various crops such as Jatropha curcas and oil palm for bio-diesel. The U.S. and Europe considered crude Jatropha oil to meet standards for fuel quality and can be easily converted to bio-diesel. Jatropha oil yield per acre is one of the highest among the tree-borne oil seeds and the seed production can range from 0.2 tons/acre to 4.9 tons/acre annually. The crops can be planted in drylands with low rainfall, thus have enormous potential in western India which is dominated by drylands with an annual average rainfall of only 400–1000 mm. Although the national average yield is 3.7 tons per hectare per year, high-yielding individual elite palms can regularly achieve over 10 ton per hectare per year. This is superior to the yield of other oilseed crops such as the soybean at 0.4 tons per hectare per year. Therefore, biodiesel usage in locomotives, over-the-road trucking and shipping could contribute to the biofuel role in the larger sustainable energy puzzle.