Biomass can play a key role in economic development and emerge as a significant alternative to fossil fuels. In this article, we will discuss why fossil fuels are preferred over biomass fuel by the industrial sector.
Pyrolysis and the Promise of Biochar
The end application of biomass mostly depends on the feedstock type and the char conversion process. When processed under controlled conditions, biomass converts to char (or biochar). With the presence of high carbon content in biochar, they are highly dependent on the processing conditions of biomass (or fuel), e.g. wood char produced from pyrolysis at low or no air flow can expect to have high carbon and hydrogen with minimal minerals/inorganic presence.
Gas produced under same condition will have a high presence of heavy aromatic carbon and nitrogen gas. However, under the same conditions, if physical structure of biomass varies, the output results can fluctuate to a significant level.
The temperature, pressure, elemental composition, particle size, physical structure (e.g. density, moisture presence, molecular structure, pore size), heating rate, the maximum temperature of process, retention time during the conversion process can change the composition of biochar produced.
Biomass when converted to char has multiple applications with minimal effect on the environment. It has applications in toxic metal remediation and can remove harmful contaminants from soil which can damage plant growth and soil nutrients.
Char has potential to stabilise cadmium, lead, chromium, zinc, but they are found to be most effective in stabilisation of lead and copper. Researchers have found the potential application of biochar in a range of applications, viz. carbon sequestration, solid waste management, green electricity production, wastewater treatment, iron making process and building construction.
Why Fossil Fuel is Preferred Over Biomass Fuel?
Despite the significant contrast of applications and proven to have minimal effect on the environment, why is biomass not preferred or unsuccessful to attract the commercial sector? The answer relies on biomass processing technologies that still need to develop economically feasible. Besides fuel cost, the initial setup of biomass-based technologies need high capital cost, operation and maintenance cost, which eventually lead to a significantly higher cost of end application when compared with fossil fuels.
In most FMCG, sugarcane and fruit-based industries, biomass is produced as their waste, and legal compliances expect them to dispose of their waste sustainably. Industries spend substantial money to dispose of their waste in agreement with legal and environmental regulations. Researchers termed it a negative cost, which means that industries intend to pay to take this biomass off from their facility.
This could bring a possible opportunity to biomass processing plants to get paid or acquire fuel at no or negative cost. But most processing facilities are far from fuel (or biomass waste) sources, and cost of transportation are significant enough to compare the economics of fuel acquirement with fossil fuel costs. Moreover, processing technologies need cleaning and maintenance which further add up to the cost.
The overall economics of biomass-based electricity and any other end-use process cost higher than fossil fuels, making it very difficult to attract industries to invest in biomass over fossil fuels. Research suggests that biomass processing facilities that are available within the periphery of 200km from the fuel source will cost biomass (or fuel) at zero to negative value, improving the overall economics to a significantly comparable level to fossil fuels.
The Way Forward
To address this issue, small-scale plants must be installed in nearby areas and critical focus is vital on economically small scale biomass processing plants. Considerable research work is going on with small scale gasification plants capable of producing electricity at a small scale, but that is still under pilot project and no large-scale implementation has been found so far. Pyrolysis plants are also under the research zone, producing biochar, but this method is still under research development.
To reach targets of global temperature and carbon emissions into the atmosphere set by the UN at Climate Summit 2015, this area of research is a potentially critical area that can play a significant role in overtaking biomass over fossil fuels.
Throughout the entire contemporary age, human beings have been using fossil fuels to meet their energy needs and requirements. Natural gas, oil, and coal have made it possible for people to receive power in their homes as well as power machinery for many years, thereby pushing civilization forward. However, human development has undergone a steady acceleration, thereby making the unsustainability of such energy ostensible or apparent. There was deterioration of global fuel supplies which have had a major contribution in polluting the atmosphere. So, to guarantee a sustainable future, the search of renewable energy sources took effect.
The civilization of today stands at a precarious moment. People are on the verge of embracing clean energy at a level which has never been seen before. However, before people choose to adopt clean energy and renewable power continuing its hasty advancement, right decisions have to be undertaken. By the stats of essayzoo.org, the introduction of clean energy in the worldwide scenario has raised questions regarding its stability and scalability.
Unsteady guidelines and procedures for influencing future growth at a macro level underwent exacerbation because of lack of funding and technological immaturity. Nevertheless, there has been a vast growth and development of clean energy installations, irrespective of the slow pace, until a histrionic hike some few years ago.
The cost of alternative energy systems has dropped sharply in recent years
Today, a significant proportion of the globe’s electricity comes from renewable energy. Many countries have thus set up sheer volume installation targets to ensure they reduce the causes of pollution in their environment. Embracing various types of clean, renewable energy such as solar power, hydropower, and wind power help lessen the causes of pollution in a particular region. Thus, it is advisable that as many countries as possible choose to adopt renewable energy trends and get to enjoy and benefit from its merits.
Renewable energy is a warranty for human survival
As aforementioned, renewable energy helps reduce cases of pollution in an area. Traditional sources of energy such as kerosene lamps and diesel-run generators, cause air pollution as they generate huge volumes of pollutants, thereby creating poor air quality. This can lead to respiratory conditions among people as well as early deaths. In fact, it’s been found that millions die worldwide every year due to this, with them developing lung cancer and respiratory diseases like emphysema. However, it’s not limited to this as air pollution has been known to develop heart disease too. Alongside this, it’s especially known to cause long-term damage to other people’s organs such as their nerves, liver, kidneys, and more.
However, renewable energy provides an ecological alternative. It offers one wherein humanity doesn’t have to extract and emit toxic harmful particles into the environment along with using unsustainable methods for the sake of gaining energy.
Also, industries emit gases which pollute the air, thereby putting human life at risk. Aside from this, the extraction of energy from fossil fuels has been known to harm the environment aside from just polluting the air. One prime instance of this would be a history of major incidents regarding oil spills occurring on the ocean that harm marine life and contaminate the water. But, renewable energy helps improve the situation.
Renewable sources of energy such as wind power, geothermal power, and solar power enable people from different communities to utilize natural resources in the production of green, clean energy. Hence, this enables people to manage their energy in an independent manner. In fact, you can now transition to depending on renewable energy sources more. For instance, if you wish to utilize this, you can now use sustainable solar power solutions such as solar panels that can be installed in your home.
Renewable energy development also helps reduce global warming. Human activities overload the air with carbon dioxide and other emissions from global warming. Renewable energy does not produce global warming emissions, albeit the processes it undergoes to produce clean energy. Hence, this helps keep the atmosphere clean and does not put the lives of many people at risk.
Renewable energy is also a warranty for human survival as it helps generate job opportunities for many people and other economic benefits. Renewable energy industries are more labor demanding, unlike fossil fuel technologies. Solar panels involve human beings for installation. Also, wind farms entail technicians for efficient maintenance. Hence, this implies that there is the creation of jobs during the generation of each electricity unit from renewable sources of energy.
Clean, renewable energy can improve the future
The future of clean energy shows a better environment and living conditions for many people. Human beings will not have to rely on other sources of energy to get their activities running. They will not have to ensure certain types of ailments, such as heart disease, cancer, and bronchitis, among other health conditions. Adopting renewable energy helps minimize the likelihood of these disorders happening.
Additionally, they will be able to create job opportunities for themselves when they embrace renewable energy rather than rely on fossil fuels for energy. Fossil fuels are not only capital intensive but also mechanical. Human beings will have to spend a lot of money on such a form of energy. Also, it does not require much of their effort to be put to use.
On the other hand, renewable energy requires a lot of labor. There are various solar panels which require installation and wind farms which need maintenance from professional technicians. Thus, adopting renewable energy helps them to have jobs which can generate some income for them, thereby helping them to improve their living conditions.
Solar panels are becoming more accessible, for homeowners and businesses
Clean energy is also ideal for the future in that it helps reduce global warming. Human activities contribute to the overloading of the air with carbon dioxide and other discharges from global warming. But, renewable energy industries do not produce any global warming emissions. Hence, this makes the atmosphere safe and conducive for people to live in. It does not expose them to certain health conditions. Thus, they do not have to worry about their health now and then when using renewable energy.
Main types of clean energy
The energy trend shows that renewable energy is the future for humanity. Hence, this has had a major contribution in the discovery of various types of renewable energy. Some of them are as follows.
1. Geothermal energy
The production of this energy comes through the drilling of geothermal systems into the earth’s crust to reach deeper resources of geothermal power, thereby allowing broad access to geothermal energy. Geothermal plants are different in relation to the type of technology they use to cool and the one they use to transform the resource to electricity.
2. Wind power
Channeling power from the wind is one of the most maintainable and hygienic methods to generate electricity. This is because it does produce any global warming discharges or toxic pollution. Additionally, the wind is affordable, infinite, and profuse. Hence, this makes it a feasible and all-encompassing substitute for fossil fuels.
3. Solar power
Same to wind power, the sun offers a remarkable resource for generating fresh and maintainable energy.
4. Hydroelectric power
Hydroelectric power incorporates small run-of-the-river plants and massive hydroelectric dams. Increasing capacity at these dams and river projects help generate some energy.
5. Wave and Tidal Energy
Similar to hydro energy, wave and tidal energy is a more recent and emerging form of renewable energy. Additionally, just like energy extracted through dams, it also uses a turbine generator. However, while this isn’t constant, it can be predicted allowing for the use of other methods to compensate during low tides.
Nowadays the question of renewable energy is heard more and more often. It’s getting closer to us. Research work is being conducted in universities, students are preparing dissertations on this subject and even third part services can write your dissertation paper in short time with no compromise in quality. So the future of renewable energy shows to be promising. People will no longer have to rely on fossil fuels to get energy. They can embrace the utilization of renewable sources of energy, such as hydroelectric power, wind power, solar power, and geothermal power.
Furthermore, this proves to be a guarantee for human survival on the basis of the points above. Adopting renewable energy is an ideal choice many people and nations need to embrace. Moreover, this will help them identify and recognize renewable energy developments and how they can adopt them in their day-to-day activities hence improving their living conditions.
There’s no doubt that Covid-19 has taken a human and socio-economic toll over the course of the last six months, with more than 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths recorded so far. However, the pandemic has always provided moments of hope and economy across the globe, from the boom in ecommerce and the rise of remote working to the unexpected 8% emissions reduction reported in the UK. These trends have also been impactful across the globe, and there’s no doubt that they have the potential to sustain significant and positive change into the future.
What is a Green Economy and Why Should the World Care?
Of course, the Covid-19 outbreak came on the back of global environmental protests by organisations such as Extinction Rebellion, which sought to drive radical change and introduce a green economy that would make the UK carbon neutral by 2025.
This was deemed to be incredibly ambitious by some commentators, although the current Conservative government has pledged to create a greener, carbon neutral economy by 2050.
OK, we hear you ask, but what exactly is a green economy? In simple terms, this refers to an economy that aims to actively reduce the environmental risks posed by business and wealth generation and ecological scarcities, while also driving sustainable development without degrading the environmental landscape.
While regulations and multilateral agreements such as the Paris Climate Change Agreements take care of the first element of this, it’s socially responsible investment that drives the second.
The best example of the latter exists in the form of investment in renewable energy technology, which is arguably the single most important dynamic for future infrastructure spending throughout the global community.
Can Covid-19 Trigger Increased Green Technology Spending?
With this in mind, the importance of green economics and increased renewable energy technology spending is clear, while the sharp decline in emissions during the coronavirus outbreak has raised hopes that a green global economy may be on the horizon.
Still, there’s no doubt that fossil fuel consumption is set to decline incrementally in the coming years, and this is definitely a factor when appraising the issues faced by oil of late.
Ultimately, these facts hint at a greener and more sustainable future, and it cannot be denied that most developed economies were investing in renewable energy sources at record levels prior to the pandemic.
The question that remains, of course, is to what degree the recent emissions reductions across the globe have been inspired by such changes? The answer is telling, particularly if it turns out the reduction in CO2 emissions over the course of the last two months was solely driven by the widespread lockdown measures that curbed road and air travel.
Regardless, now is clearly the ideal time to push a greener agenda and continue laying the foundations for a more sustainable future.
Solar energy is one of the most eco-friendly power sources out there. And because of the environmental benefits of solar energy, an increasing number of homeowners and business owners are having solar panels mounted on their properties.
As a green alternative, solar power doesn’t only help reduce power costs but also provides numerous benefits to the natural surroundings. Below you’ll find just a few of solar energy’s most notable impacts on the planet.
1. Promotes Water Conservation
Water is an essential natural resource, and if people continue to use it unabatedly, it may run out sooner rather than later. Traditional power generation and transmission processes use significant amounts of water to cool generators and refine and transport fuel through pipes. The same is true whether the facility uses natural gas, nuclear power, or coal power to meet massive electricity demand.
Solar energy, however, doesn’t require water to produce electricity, so it doesn’t further strain water resources. Residential solar panels maintenance works only require periodic rinses and removal of debris and other types of obstruction. In addition, it doesn’t give off wastewater, so it doesn’t contribute to water pollution.
2. Reduces Greenhouse Gases And Carbon Emissions
Most of the energy we use on the planet is produced from burning fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide. This chemical compound generates heat once released into the atmosphere, that’s why it’s called a greenhouse gas. It’s said that carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for more than a thousand years, worsening global warming and negatively impacting the weather systems.
With solar panels meeting residential and commercial electrical needs, fossil fuels don’t have to be burned to make appliances and other power-hungry devices work. Making your home more self-sufficient by mounting solar panels on your roof isn’t only a way to reduce your electricity expenses but a planet-saving measure as well since it relies on a stable and renewable energy source.
3. Avoids Strain On Earth’s Non-renewable Resources
The majority of the world’s current power sources, such as natural gas, oil, and coal, aren’t infinite like the rest of the Earth’s natural resources. As the population continues to grow, so are the demands for those assets. This imbalance continues to strain the Earth’s finite resources, such as fossil fuel. In the face of fast-depleting natural reserves, humans should tap other means of renewable energy sources and minimize their use of the current supply available.
Switching to solar energy is one great way to preserve the planet’s power resources and lower the demand for them. The sun is nature’s main energy reservoir. It’s said to generate about 173,000 terawatts of solar energy per second. Comparatively, the world’s electricity consumption for 2018 was pegged at 23,398 terawatt-hours. Best of all, solar energy is accessible as long as the sun’s still shining.
4. Helps Slow Down Climate Change
When released into the atmosphere, dangerous emissions from burning fossil fuels damage the environment. What’s more, they can contribute to global warming and extremely erratic climate patterns.
Methane, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide can amplify the greenhouse effect. Under normal circumstances, the greenhouse effect is a natural process of warming the earth, making it suitable for life. Unfortunately, processing fossil fuels to generate energy has led to abnormally warmer temperatures at unprecedented rates. As a result, the planet has experienced highly dramatic weather disturbances, including unpredictable atmospheric conditions, violent storms, extreme flooding, and severe drought.
Solar panels produce electricity without emitting dangerous chemicals or toxic gases. As more homes and buildings are switching to the use of solar panels, the current power generation practices are expected to become more environment-friendly. With solar energy, you don’t need to burn fuel and exacerbate the greenhouse effect.
5. Minimizes Air Pollution
Besides the environmentally harmful carbon dioxide, burning fossil fuels can generate other hazardous gases such as methane and sulfur dioxide. These toxic chemicals are released into the air and decrease air quality.
Such gases can endanger people’s health and well-being. Various health problems are linked to long-term exposure to air pollution. These include lung cancer, asthma attacks, allergies, lung diseases, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and headaches, to name a few. Inversely, you won’t have any of those problems with solar energy since it doesn’t produce toxic emissions that harm people and the environment.
Energy use is essential for human existence. But common power generation methods, for the most part, have proven to be detrimental to the planet and human beings. Access to sustainable and eco-friendly energy sources should be a priority for everyone, and you can do your part by harnessing solar energy for your own power requirements.
Even the fleetest of glances at global solar energy map shows Oman to be well placed to exploit the energy-giving rays of the sun. In fact, over the last few years, a gaggle of reports have been published extolling the virtues of exploiting this renewable energy source. However, with increasing and more urbanised populations consuming greater and greater amounts of energy, only now are governments across the Gulf and wider MENA regions seriously looking at harnessing solar power to help fill potential energy deficits.
Sealing and mounting application of epoxy resins increase the environmental tolerance of the solar equipment
Mr Jigar Shah, quoted in a recent article, said investors were “desperate to invest in the Middle East solar industry” and were waiting for clear instructions from the governments in the region. He said, “The economics of switching to solar energy are far better here than in South Africa, India, Brazil, China and the US. Now that the costs of developing solar technologies have significantly declined, it is time for the Middle East to turn talk into action.”
That there is huge potential in the solar industry was underlined in no uncertain terms by the announcement last year of a $2 billion project to develop solar power projects in Oman. The plans also envisage creating industrial plants for the manufacture of solar panels and aluminium frames, to be used by the power station and also for local consumption and export.
Knowledge and technology transfer were also critical contributors to the success of the project which also aimed to tie-up with major international technology companies and international universities with expertise in renewable energy education, to help train the local population in servicing this burgeoning industry.
David Heimhofer, Chairman of Terra Nex Group and Managing Director of Middle East Best Select Fund, said, “By attracting foreign direct investment in the growing renewable energy sector and using German expertise, Oman will become not just a regional leader in the field, but also benefit from the great intrinsic value within the complete value chain associated with this economic sector. He says“In addition to generating new jobs for the Omani people and boosting exports, this project creates an entire industry that Oman can be proud of.”
The project is expected to deliver more than 2000 jobs for Omanis across a diverse range of industrial sectors and services. In order to increase the skill set of the local population to help service these new jobs, the University of Zurich proposed the setting up of an educational institution in the Sultanate specialising in the field of renewable energy engineering.
Biogas is an often overlooked and neglected aspect of renewable energy in India. While solar, wind and hydropower dominate the discussion in the country, they are not the only options available. Biogas is a lesser known but highly important option to foster sustainable development in agriculture-based economies, such as India.
What is Biogas
Briefly speaking, biogas is the production of gaseous fuel, usually methane, by fermentation of organic material. It is an anaerobic process or one that takes place in the absence of oxygen. Technically, the yeast that causes your bread to rise or the alcohol in beer to ferment is a form of biogas. We don’t use it in the same way that we would use other renewable sources, but the idea is similar. Biogas can be used for cooking, lighting, heating, power generation and much more. Infact, biogas is an excellent and effective to promote development of rural and marginalized communities in all developing countries.
This presents a problem, however. The organic matter is putting off a gas, and to use it, we have to turn it into a liquid. This requires work, machinery and manpower. Research is still being done to figure out the most efficient methods to make it work, but there is a great deal of progress that has been made, and the technology is no longer new.
Fossil Fuel Imports
India has a rapidly expanding economy and the population to fit. This has created problems with electricity supplies to expanding areas. Like most countries, India mainly uses fossil fuels. However, as oil prices fluctuate and the country’s demand for oil grows, the supply doesn’t always keep up with the demand. In the past, India has primarily imported oil from the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Without a steady and sustainable fossil fuels supply, India has looking more seriously into renewable sources they can produce within the country. Biogas is an excellent candidate to meet those requirements and has been used for this goal before.
Biogas in India
There are significant differences between biogas and fossil fuels, but for India, one of the biggest is that you can create biogas at home. It’s pretty tricky to find, dig up and transform crude oil into gas, but biogas doesn’t have the same barriers. In fact, many farmers who those who have gardens or greenhouses could benefit with proper water management and temperature control so that plants can be grown year round, It still takes some learning and investment, but for many people, especially those who live in rural places, it’s doable.
This would be the most beneficial to people in India because it would help ease the strain of delivering reliable energy sources based on fossil fuels, and would allow the country to become more energy independent. Plus, the rural areas are places where the raw materials for biogas will be more available, such animal manure, crop residues and poultry litter. But this isn’t the first time most people there are hearing about it.
Biogas in India has been around for a long time. In the 1970’s the country began a program called the National Biogas and Manure Management Program (NBMMP) to deal with the same problem — a gas shortage. The country did a great deal of research and implemented a wide variety of ideas to help their people become more self-sufficient, regardless of the availability of traditional gasoline and other fossil fuel based products.
The original program was pioneering for its time, but the Chinese quickly followed suit and have been able to top the market in biogas production in relatively little time. Comparatively, India’s production of biogas is quite small. It only produces about 2.07 billion m3/year of biogas, while it’s estimated that it could produce as much as 48 billion m3/year. This means that there are various issues with the current method’s India is using in its biogas production.
Biogas has the potential to rejuvenate India’s agricultural sector
The original planning in the NBMMP involved scientists who tried to create the most efficient biogas generators. This was good, but it slowed people’s abilities to adopt the techniques individually. China, on the other hand, explicitly worked to help their most rural areas create biogas. This allowed the country to spread the development of biogas to the most people with the lowest barriers to its proliferation.
If India can learn from the strategy that China has employed, they may be able to give their biogas production a significant boost which will also help in the rejuvenation of biomass sector in the country. Doing so will require the help and willingness of both the people and the government. Either way, this is an industry with a lot of room for growth.
Bioplastic is a widely used term now to distinct new ways of production, which should reduce the use of oil-based plastic. Some scientists regard it as a solution to the plastic pollution problem, yet the issue is much more complex. First of all, this is an extremely broad term that includes various types of substances. Secondly, it is important to evaluate the cost and the actual influence on nature. This will help in figuring out whether it is more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.
If you are a student having an assignment for the environment-related subject, there are a few options. You can easily purchase essay on a given subject from Essaypro professionals. Or, if you want to do everything on your own, let’s have a closer look at the term and what it means.
What is meant by Bioplastic
Bioplastic can refer to two kinds of things – the ones that are made of renewable bio ingredients instead of fossil fuel and to the materials that are biodegradable. Bio-based plastic is produced from alternative sources, such as corn starch, beet sugar, hemp (a species of cannabis), or even mango. There are several sources that can be used in such manufacture.
Biodegradable materials are ones that can be broken down by enzymes present in nature. It means that they can be manufactured from a renewable source, but still be not biodegradable and vice versa. It is hard to find a solution that will address both issues – production and recycling.
Alternative materials can solve one of the problems. They can either reduce the usage of fossil fuels or solve the recycling and degradability issues.
Biodegradable Doesn’t Mean Harmless
The next issue is that even if a thing can be degradable, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not harmful to the environment. First of all, there are several kinds of degradability.
Basically, any plastic is degradable, but in different circumstances. The traditional one can be degraded and recycled in an industrial environment. However, it cannot be reduced to the materials simply returning to nature.
Nowadays, some bioplastics are more degradable, but they still leave a microplastic residue that pollutes the environment. For example, there is oxo-degradable material dependent on oxygen influence. Yet, it still pollutes nature; that’s why the EU wants to ban it.
It means that the item can be broken down into natural material, such as water, carbon dioxide, and compost by microorganisms. Yet, it requires specific conditions, mostly at a particular temperature. If such material is simply thrown into the ocean, it will not be naturally eliminated.
Such items degrade on compost site up to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic waste, and biomass. Biodegradable plastic can be produced from traditional petrochemicals (oil-based). At the same time, material produced from renewable sources can be as hard to break down as a traditional one.
Other Issues With Bioplastic Materials
There are several concerns that these new ways of manufacturing plastics raise. They show that there should be much more research and planning done before naming something an ultimate solution.
Bioplastic materials are not necessarily much better for the environment. The manufacturing process might affect the nature as well. For instance, the production of Polybutylene Succinate (PBS), a biodegradable substitute for propylene, results in a huge amount of greenhouse gases. Eventually, it is not much better for nature.
They are not cheap. Unfortunately, from a capitalistic point of view, there is no market demand for such innovations. They are much more costly for businesses. The main reason to introduce them into wide use is an environmental concern and governmental actions. Otherwise, huge corporations won’t be interested.
They are not easy to recycle or decompose. The majority of these materials cannot be recycled by the same plants that recycle oil-based formulas. If they get into the same plant, they are going to pollute and decrease the quality of the material. It means that there have to be new factories to recycle these particular elements.
Bioplastic is a broad term that refers to various options regarding sources and degradability. It attracts a lot of attention from scientists, researchers, and the general public as the environmental situation is declining.
Some of the professionals claim that it is the future that will have little to no impact on nature. However, in reality, the issue is more complex. It requires further research into extended effects, possible recycling, and affordability.
Nowadays, bioplastic has only 1% on the market. It grows steadily, but nothing like traditional manufacturing. The issue needs governmental measures taken in terms of funding research and banning harmful practices. As of now, it is a long journey to substitute all oil-based material with a greener option.
With increasing concern and awareness of climate change, there has been a growth in the renewable energy sector through government subsidies and private investment, allowing for the replacement of current sources of energy with less carbon-intensive fuels. However, renewable energy technologies are yet to topple the traditional fossil fuel-powered electricity market. With the increasing trajectory of global emissions, climate research has been exploring other methods of climate mitigation, for instance, through the use of large-scale geoengineering technologies.
A quick glance at popular biomass resources
Of particular focus are the carbon dioxide removal techniques, namely Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) that have been prominently featured in emission scenarios of climate models, particularly for their direct influence in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
CCS involves capturing carbon dioxide emissions from industries and storing them under geological reservoirs either on shore or offshore. You can read more about this technology on a previous EcoMENA article.
What is Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage
One of the main concerns about CCS is the use of fossil fuels for its operations. In the pursuit for greener climate mitigation technologies, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) has emerged as a climate saviour, featuring in prominent emissions scenarios and climate models to achieve the 1.5-degree target.
In the place of fossil fuels, biomass is instead used as the primary fuel source for BECCS as seen in the picture below. The two-step absorption of carbon dioxide, first during the growth of the biomass, and second through capturing of the biomass emissions, makes BECCS, in theory, a net negative emissions technique.
Source: Can we deploy enough BECCS to achieve climate targets? AVOID 2
Of the 116 climate scenarios suggested by the IPCC, BECCS was seen to have a significant role in 101 of the scenarios to help prevent global temperature rise above the 1.5-degree target. In fact, UK electricity generator Drax, has chosen to invest in the BECCS technology and started its first trial earlier this year, making it the first of its kind in Europe.
Risks associated with BECCS
While the combination of bioenergy and CCS provides an ideal carbon negative mitigation strategy, it also combines the existing risks associated with both technologies. In addition to lack of investment and long-term economic policies for CCS, large scale deployment of BECCS is hindered by uncertainties such as land, water and resource availability. Studies have shown concerns regarding the carbon intensity and the scale of land and resources required to sustain the bioenergy component required for BECCS.
While the net negative aspect of BECCS may work in theory, studies have revealed significant proportions of emissions associated with indirect land use change for biomass production for BECCS. In addition to technical challenges, one of the key constraints for the deployment of such climate technologies is social acceptance, where sections of the general public, or specific stakeholders, remain unconvinced with certain aspects of the technology due to ethical or political reasons.
As such, while CCS and BECCS may offer the ideal climate saviour solution to reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions, the technologies are still overcast with various technical and social challenges that limit their commercial usage for climate mitigation.
If you already have an air compressor, you will be aware of how they are an incredibly valuable tool for industries and DIY enthusiasts. Commonly used to power pneumatic tools but can be used for a variety of applications. Air compressors provide you with complete power over spraying, nailing, sanding and hammering at a fraction of the time it would take with manual tools.
You can also find these smaller sized air compressors everywhere that are very portable and best at doing small work. Bob Robinson of BestOfMachinery swears by these portable tools. “Small air compressors essentially push air from the tank in the unit, into the tools that you want to use for either DIY, hobbies or work purposes without the need to lug heavy stuff.”, he commented.
These machines can also be used for inflating tyres, auto repairs and even creating home-made snow machines. Sandblasters, impact wrenches, grease guns, die grinders and angle disc grindles can also be attached.
We all love our power tools and would be lost without them; however, we are becoming more aware regarding the issue of carbon emissions. Reducing our carbon footprint is one of the most important things companies and individuals can do in their lifetime. Small changes within your business and homes can be a great start to decrease our carbon emissions and help save the planet.
Every air compressor requires lubrication in order to efficiently and safely draw in air to its cylinder, commonly using a piston movement. The traditional method to achieve this is using oil, while oil-based air compressors do have their benefits as they are more robust and can handle large-scale applications, they are higher in initial cost, harder to maintain and far heavier than their oil-free counterparts.
Oil-free air compressors gain lubrication through a non-stick coating, generally Teflon. As extra elements to hold oil are eradicated from these machines, they are far lighter and smaller than oil-based air compressors which make them ideal for applications that are not static. Due to less components, oil-free air compressors are often cheaper to purchase.
Oil-based air compressors must remain static and upright when in use, oil-free are far more versatile. As you do not need to consider the oil flow, they can be positioned wherever you see fit. They are also operatable at any temperature, oil can become viscous in cooler climates and can cause problems when attempted to start the motor, oil-free erases this issue.
With these benefits in mind, you can achieve even more with your oil-free air compressor by helping to reduce the use of fossil fuels maintain the planet’s natural resources. You can also make a direct impact on your running costs, saving you and your business money on your energy bills.
With an oil-free air compressor, all costs to collect and dispose of oil-laden condensate will be removed, not to mention the initial cost of the oil itself. These compressors are less wasteful as they do not require the replacement of the air/oil separator and filtration elements which are required to get rid of oil aerosols, these parts are notorious for wearing down quickly. You will not needlessly be sending these parts to landfill and be bearing the cost of new ones on a regular basis.
If you are worried about direct harmful emissions from your air compressor, oil-free air compressors produce the purest form of air which will reduce any negative impact into the atmosphere, great for the planet and for those working around it. You will also not have the trouble of potentially contaminated products from oil spills during projects.
A big bonus of oil-free air compressors is that they are safer than their counterparts, as there is no oil, you eliminate the risk of compressed air pipeline fires. An incredibly important factor to consider for the safety of you, your staff and your premises.
Oil-free air compressors can dramatically reduce your energy bills compared to the oil-based counterpart as they require less energy to run which will cut down your environmental impact. Oil-free air compressors do not need increased forces of power when the unit has a drop in the filtration in the downstream pressure, unlike oil-based. Oil-free units can, on average, unload in 2 seconds of your command which only uses around 18% of its full load horsepower.
Of course, all machines come with their downsides and oil-free air compressors are no exception. Oil-free air compressors are known to generate more noise which can be an annoyance and hazard to those using it and those around them.
There is a solution, you can invest in a low-noise air compressor. These reduce noise levels to around 40dB. The lowest safe level is considered 60 dB and anything over 80dB can cause long-term problems with hearing.
With the addition of an acoustic cylinder to contain this noise, opting for a low-noise air compressor is an investment worth making. It is recommended when using any power tool that protective gear is worn to eliminate lasting damage and long-term effects, even with a low-noise machine.
If you were considering purchasing a new air compressor or have simply been doing research on them, you should now have a comprehensive understanding of the benefits an oil-free air compressor possesses.
Like anyone else, students have an important role to play in counteracting current environmental problems and adapting to new learning formats. After all, they are the generations that would unjustly inherit some of the most perilous global challenges humanity has ever faced. They would also become the future leaders that are expected to implement key measures to save the planet in the coming decades.
Below, we explore the most important means through which students can help the ongoing fight. For some key advice on how each of us can contribute, check this info guide from the World Wildlife Fund.
1. Consume Less
If there is one thing you must do before everything else in order to save the world, it is limiting the number of resources you require. This applies to most products – there are very few exceptions. It is crucial to reduce the amount of environmentally damaging products consumed, such as plastics in any form, various chemical products (detergents, bleach, cosmetics), industrial products, especially those that use valuable resources, are hard to recycle, or whose production is associated with high energy demands.
Water conservation in schools and colleges is also a key factor in fostering environmental health. By reducing consumption, you can also save money, which is always relevant for a student. Given how our world and economy function, every time you buy something you cast a vote for a particular version of the future.
Although probably having the greatest impact, avoiding consumption entirely is unrealistic or incredibly hard to achieve. Hence, for those products that you do consume, seek for ways to recycle them. Food waste can be turned into compost, while plastic, paper, metal, the glass could all be reused.
Also, ensure that you support producers that recycle materials. Even so, you should be aware that recycled materials are typically used only in producing lower-quality or less demanding industrial products, hence, it is not ensuring a closed circuit of resources.
3. Mind What and How Much You Eat
Even if food waste isn’t normally a polluting factor, the production of any food requires significant amounts of water, energy, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fossil fuels. Hence, when throwing food away, we waste considerable resources.
Apart from that, there are some foods that are associated with a much higher environmental impact, such as palm oil, which is associated with deforestation in tropical areas, or meat, which requires incredibly high amounts of water, energy, and crops/ land to produce.
This is where foods such as plant based meats come in – they are a great alternative to meat and are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
4. Volunteer for the Environment
The state of our environment is such that there is always work to do. Volunteering is one important way in which we can help the environment and inspire others to do the same. It can take many forms, such as saving animals or animal habitats, cleaning urban or wild areas from litter, finding sponsors and raising donations for specific environmental projects, helping to gather products for recycling, etc.
All these activities could be time-consuming and could interfere with college coursework. Sometimes, college homework might prevent you from attending an important event or activity that you planned for much ahead. In such situations or whenever confronted with multiple pressing deadlines, getting help from EduBirdie Canada could be a life-saver.
Note that any accomplishments in environmental volunteering could become a strong point in your CV as well as a convincing argument for your future academic or job applications, so they shouldn’t be ignored.
Burning fossil fuels are an important contributor to air pollution (an important cause of disease worldwide) but also to rising CO2 levels, which cause global climate change. Hence, it makes sense to substitute, whenever possible, your trips by vehicle with bike rides or walks.
Importantly, air travel typically results in hundreds of kilograms of CO2 per passenger, which represents a much higher environmental footprint compared to land transportation.
We have listed above some key directions in which you should act in order to embrace a greener lifestyle. However, there are many more ways to help the environment. Feel free to check these energy-saving tips for additional advice. Importantly, the same goals could be achieved by using a great variety of paths – the way how you implement your personal environmental plan is up to you. You are highly welcome to come up with creative new ways and share them with your community. The world is in desperate need of solutions that would address the environmental disaster we are witnessing.
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