Converting Switchgrass To Biofuel Essay

1885 words - 8 pages


People need energy, it’s a fact. We need it for our cars, for our televisions and for our iPods. We need it all the time, every day. The simple fact is though, we are running out. Carbon based fuels are being used at an alarming rate every day. And every day our demand increases as our society becomes more and more reliant on technology.

There is only so much oil in the world though and when that is gone we need to look for alternative sources of energy. Sources like ethanol produced from Switchgrass.

In 2004 an article was published on the creation of ethanol from gases made from switchgrass. The article was titled, “Fermentation of Biomass-Generated Producer Gas to Ethanol.”

This article held produced several interesting results. First it demonstrated that producer gas could be generated from biomass (Switchgrass) and that the producer gas could be fermented to produce ethanol. Second the cells stopped growing but did not die. During this period of non-growth ethanol was produced. Third H2 utilization ceased and fourth “cells began growing again if ‘clean’ bottled gases were introduced following exposure to the producer gas” (Datar, Shenkman, Cateni, Huhnke and Lewis 2004, p. 1.)


– Panicum virgatum

Why switchgrass? Thats the question of the hour. And to tell there truth there are a lot of reasons. Firstly and foremost is the fact that there are millions of dollars in government funding available. Secondly switchgrass is grown across the entire center of the united states in a variety of environments.

Switchgrass is hardy and adaptable, it grows large and fast, sometime reaching slightly over ten feet in height. As a bonus switchgrass also processes water very efficiently, which is always a good thing where farmers are concerned.

It has numerous other advantages also. It is already used by many farmers to prevent soil erosion and to help their fallow fields replenish the nutrients in their soil, becuase of its root deep root system that adds organic matter to the soil.

Its last too advantages are that it's net energy output is about 20 times better then corns. And that it produces almost 5 times the amount of energy it takes to grow the plant.

The P7 Cell:

Bacteria are one of the three domains that classify all biological things. Both Bacteria and Archaea are the two domains that fall into one category called prokaryotes because of their similar cell structure. Bacterial cells are usually tinier than animal or plant cells. The average size is between .25 and 4 μm.

Bacteria are rarely seen as individual cells. Most are detected in chains and small clusters. The cellular structures of bacteria are almost universal for all types. The genetic material of bacteria is DNA. Unlike plant, animal and other cells bacterial cells do not have a nucleus that encloses the DNA. They do have a cytoplasm which is the fluid inside of every cell and also ribosome which are the centers...

Find Another Essay On Converting Switchgrass to Biofuel

The Transformation of Our Planet Using Biofuels

1227 words - 5 pages Despite the minor setbacks of biofuels in the beginning, with some time and dedication biofuels will be worth converting over to from oil. Converting over to biofuels will eventually change life as Americans know it. It will transform society into a much more energy efficient, green, and healthy place to grow as humans. Unfortunately, many people argue that converting from oils over to biofuels is a waste of time, and will later have no effect

Biomass: Ethanol Production as a Biofuel in South Africa

2402 words - 10 pages Biofuel Biofuel is the energy produced from processing biomass. There are primarily two outcomes of biofuel. The first is a physical product such as liquid Ethanol which is an energy carrying product. In other words it can be placed inside a vehicle for combustion resulting in propulsion. Secondly it is burned in its raw form of biomass to heat water creating steam which drives turbine generators converting biomass to usable Megawatt power via existing

Bio fuels of Yeast fermentation

1183 words - 5 pages produces is that fact they convert living organism’s derivatives into biomass and use it as a fuel source (European Environment Agency, 2011). Then these biomasses can be then turned in chemical, biochemical or thermal conversions (European Environment Agency, 2011). Alcoholic Fermentation occurs after glycolysis and pyruvate processing (Morton, 1980). During glycolysis, glucose breaks down to form two pyruvate molecules, converting two NAD+ to two

Corn Crisis Hog Farmers Hurt by Rising Corn Prices

4406 words - 18 pages corn to feed livestock and make biofuel is putting enormous pressure on global supply. U.S. farmers are expected to plant less corn in the coming years, which means the supply shortage will only worsen. An 8% drop from last year is expected.It has been determined through extensive research that a specific combination of corn and soybean meal is the most efficient feed for raising hogs, and feed has always been the greatest input expense, even


8219 words - 33 pages to its effect on food prices. Why did the price of food basics jump between 2006 and 2008? A World Bank report, "Placing the 2006/08 Commodity Price Boom into Perspective," finds a variety of causes, diversion of food crops into biofuel production among them. But it also cites adverse weather conditions and government policies (including export bans and high taxes) as factors in reducing food stocks to levels not seen since the early

Corn Ethanol: The Future Fuel?

2096 words - 8 pages In the world of global warming, all kinds of pollution and fuel shortages going on, renewable and clean/ green energy is increasingly the ideal solution of energy related problems we have to solve one way or another. Biofuel is one of the mainstream and highly supported solutions nowadays, an idea to make renewable fuel by living organisms such as fiber, corn, vegetable oil or sugar cane. Unlike nonrenewable fossil fuels over extracted by people

Civic Engagement: Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy

2001 words - 9 pages sources of energy by generating new public policies. Many public policies have been set into motion by both governmental parties and are currently trying to authorize programs that will engender economical energy efficiency by agreeably relying on renewable energy rather than fossil fuels. There are many advantages and disadvantages to converting to fossil fuels but whether you agree or not, renewable energy is the future of the United States. Energy

Biomass Energy

895 words - 4 pages biomass energy. Even in today's modern era, biomass is the only source of fuel for domestic use in many developing countries. Biomass is biologycal materials derived from living, or recently living organisms. It most often refers to plants or plant-derived materials which are specifically called lignocellulosic biomass.As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly via combustion to produce heat, or indirectly after converting it to

Benefits of Biodiesel: Green Future

3519 words - 14 pages the choices of PSO and possible alternative paths that it can take to improve its strategy. 2. Literature Review 2.1 Biodiesel Biodiesel is a kind of biofuel that is made from oil seeds like castor bean or soybean. It is also made from oil extracted from weeds like Jatropha Curcas and cannabis . Biodiesel is one of the most preferred alternative fuels, especially in developing economies because of the numerous benefits it has. In this

Fossil Fuels

1809 words - 7 pages pollution than fossil fuelsSolar: It harnesses light energy emitted by the sun and converting into electrical energy Solar cells must be large to deliver useful amount of power and constructed in places not obstructed by buildings or mountains, and where it is sunny, preferably in the tropics as there is sun the whole year long. The solar cells also have to be facing certain direction to ensure maximum absorption. It provides 1KW/m2 when there are no

The Use of Coal as an Energy Source in the United States

1361 words - 5 pages hydrogen acts as an energy carrier for the gasified coal. Methanation is also a part of the gasification process that distributes coal’s energy to consumers by converting the coal into a clean natural gas, approximately 98% methane gas. Liquefaction is the process where the solid coal is processed into an alternative source of fuel for cars, leading to a more environmentally friendly world. With the use of this method, the United States could lower

Similar Essays

Pros And Cons Of Biofuels Essay

2267 words - 9 pages Fuel Use Using current production and farming equipment like tractors, trucks to transport, and running distillation equipment requires a great deal of gas to run and produce the biofuel. The major drawback is that the engines of today run on petroleum-based gas or diesel fuel and would operate differently with biofuels. Converting to support the usage of biofuel and biodiesel takes time and money. Here are several factors to consider when

Petroleum Scarcity: Cellulosic Biofuels And Issues Of Biotechnology

2664 words - 11 pages biotechnology that will support cellulosic biofuels. Processes required converting source materials to fuels To understand biofuels, the first step is to understand what biofuels are. The definition of a biofuel is: any fuel whose energy is obtained through a process of biological carbon fixation. So, obviously, to produce biofuels, biological carbon fixation is an important procedure that is required. Biological carbon fixation is a process

Expectation Essay

4866 words - 19 pages greatest investment swin- dles since John Law's Mississippi land bubble. The entry point for uncovering this hoax were the claims by officers of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE) that produc- tion of ethanol from corn shows a posi- tive net energy balance of 30,528 Btu per gallon,1 or 67 percent more than the energy required to grow, transport, and distill it, and that cellulosic ethanol (derived from switchgrass or

The Use Of Alternative Energy Essay

1718 words - 7 pages fuel . Cynics may say that it will require converting just about the entire world’s remaining forests and open spaces over to agricultural land just for biofuel demands. In additional the widespread acceptance of biofuels to replace oil is as alternative fuel source in the market. The United States Energy Information Administration reported that 23% of the primary energy consumption in 2010 was biofuel ("Energy Perspectives 1949–2010," 2011). A