Australia needs help to understand Bio Fuels and Cheap Clean Energy
I was going to write an article just about how cool Bio Diesel is this morning, and I will still talk a lot about it in this article because it is very important to our future, but wow, there is so much more to be discussed about powering our future.
Today I learned that we only have 46 years worth of crude oil left in the ground, which concerned me greatly when I considered how much of the world’s crude oil is used as diesel.
We have roughly 1.65 Trillion barrels of crude oil left in the ground. Assuming 42 gallons per barrel and 4 litres per gallon, we have 277.3 trillion litres of crude oil left.
This may appear to be a large amount, but it is not because the world consumes 5.95 trillion litres of crude oil each year. We use crude oil in roughly the following proportions: 45% for unleaded gasoline, 29% for diesel, and 26% for a variety of other purposes such as plastics manufacturing.
Around 1.726 trillion litres of crude is used every year to produce diesel; for every 42 litres of crude processed, 11 litres of diesel are produced, resulting in 452 billion litres of diesel consumed each year. What initially concerned me was that, while we only produce 9.3 billion litres of Bio Diesel per year, which is 0.54% of what we currently use, we need to start producing another 442 billion litres of Bio Diesel.
This world is heavily reliant on diesel engine vehicles; for example, there are approximately 375,000 trains in the world that consume approximately 9.9 billion litres of diesel per year. There are approximately 54,000 ships sailing the world’s seas, 53,000 mining trucks, and 320 million diesel engine cars (16% of the world’s 2 billion internal combustion engine vehicles).
Australia consumes around 30 billion litres of diesel every year, of that, 7 billion litres of that diesel is produced within it’s shores but 90% of the crude used to make that diesel is imported. Rather sadly, Australia only produces around 43 Million litres of Bio Diesel every year which is 0.14% of what they use.
I’m very confused about Australia, and at first I assumed that all of the figures I’ve been looking at were all wrong because Australia is one of those countries that has allegedly gone green and is completely concerned about the environment. Given their size, you’d think Australia would be one of the world’s largest manufacturers of Bio Diesel.
If Australia becomes interested in Bio Diesel, it may be worthwhile to inform them about a company called ‘Wartsila,’ which manufactures 20MW diesel engine power generators, and if a large number of them were purchased and run on Bio Diesel, you could have an emission-free power station.
Australia has been extremely concerned about the use of coal-fired power plants and refuses to believe that the advanced new technologies available with Nuclear Powered Plants, as used by Canada, could ever be acceptable in their very green country.
Australia appears to be so environmentally conscious these days that it intends to phase out coal-fired power plants in favour of renewable energy. They estimate that solar power will cover about half of a day, with wind power covering 9% of the available requirements, and for the remaining 91% of the non-solar period, they will install stationary bike electricity generators capable of producing 100 watts of power in each home. Residents of all 11 million homes will be required to power the country at night. The bikes and wind will generate roughly 1.2 gigawatts of electricity, which is roughly one-fourth of the power they currently use at night.
Returning to Bio Diesel, I believe that this truly green country, Australia, will want to do something about becoming less reliant on fossil fuel diesel and producing more Bio Diesel. After all, we now think about diesel differently than we used to, and we are concerned about harmful emissions from diesel. It’s now thought to be a source of harmful pollutants like ground level ozone and nitrogen dioxide particulate matter, and that diesel may be harming our respiratory and cardiovascular health. Aside from the fact that we will run out of diesel in 46 years, it appears that we will need to switch to Bio Diesel anyway if we want to live long and healthy lives.
Given that Australia and the rest of the world will need to continue using diesel engines for some time, let us now assume that the world will commit to producing Bio Diesel.
If you are wondering whether you can easily switch from using fossil fuel diesel to bio diesel, the answer is ‘Yes’ but it will depend on your vehicle. For a B20 blend or less (20% Bio/80% fossil diesel), any current diesel engine can start the switch today but if you would like to use B100 or pure Bio Diesel, you may have to pay for an extra tank, fuel line and injector changes, and replacing any natural rubber in the engine.
Bio Diesel is a clean-burning, zero-emission diesel derived from vegetable oil. Bio Diesel, also known as Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME), is made by chemically converting vegetable oils into their esters. Because Bio Diesel improves fuel lubricity, your engine will start easier, have less ignition delay, and should last longer due to reduced friction within the moving parts. The various Bio Diesel blends are so good that you can benefit from as little as 1% blend.
I’m yet to notice Bio Diesel being available at any Service Station I’ve ever driven into but I live in hope that I might one day notice the current Bio Diesel price per litre illuminated on a sign out the front of one of my local ‘Servos’.
Returning to the marvelously green and environmentally friendly country of Australia, I believe they may have forgotten that they have the CSIRO in that country, and that the CSIRO has been working very hard on solutions to make coal fired power stations a lot cleaner and less polluting. I’m hoping that Australia realizes that their concerns about their existing power plants are founded on very old units. Someone should probably inform Australia that they could simply construct a number of new, much cleaner coal-fired power plants to keep the lights on. The good news for countries like Australia should they consider building new clean technology coal-fired power plants is that the world has approximately 132 years’ worth of coal left in the ground. There are 1.060 trillion tonnes of coal left in the ground, and we currently consume around 8 billion tonnes per year, with Australia possessing a significant portion of those reserves.
If Australia accepts that Canada is probably a little greener than they are, that Canada’s decision to embrace advanced new technology modular nuclear plants is probably not a whimsical one, and that they have smart people there as well, then perhaps someone from Australia can hop on one of their beautiful Qantas planes and visit Canada and ask them if they wouldn’t mind explaining Nuclear Power to them. The good news for Australia and any other country that decides to build nuclear plants like the Canadians is that the world has 40 trillion tonnes of uranium in the Earths Crust. About 6 Million Tonnes of uranium has currently been discovered as economically viable to extract and there’s around 11 Million Tonnes (estimated) of undiscovered uranium that is likely to be viable to be extracted. The world only consumes 50,000 tonnes per year, which means we have 64 years of uranium left at current rates. The thing to bear in mind though is that thanks to Fast Neutron Reactors and Pyrochemical Recycling of spent fuel and re-using it in Fast Neutron Reactors, the usage drops by 99%, which means the currently identified economic to extract uranium should last us 32,000 years. The other thing is that Scientists are constantly looking at different ways of sourcing uranium for Nuclear Fuel and as they develop new technology of extraction, the amount of uranium at our disposal will go up.
I really hope that someone in Australia learns how to use the internet and discovers Google soon because they will quickly realise that they don’t need to be mocked for having the most expensive energy rates in the world considering they have a large portion of the world’s resources required to generate power. They may not realise that just outside of Narrabri, NSW, there is enough 97% pure methane under the ground to power the entire state of NSW for nearly 40 years. That’s just one little part of one state that would make their problems go away very quickly, assuming of course someone in Australia might learn that there is the company called ‘General Electric’ (GE) that other parts of the world know about that make 600MW Gas Turbines. They could actually replace the supply from their Bayswater Power Station with four 600MW units. Assuming Australians have telephones, they could call Bangladesh and ask for GE’s phone number, as Bangladesh discovered GE in 2018 and ordered one of these units.
If you know anyone in Australia or are planning a trip there soon, please inform them about some of the exciting new power generation options available worldwide, as well as their ability to solve their own problems. Perhaps also remind them that if they have any questions about new technology, they can go to the CSIRO, which is full of scientists, and ask one of them to explain.
Good luck Australia (once you get the internet and read this of course)
Start your own environmental campaign at home
You can help reduce emissions and protect yourself from rising energy costs by changing just two things in your life.
Here’s a truly interesting article about how easy it is to start your own personal environmental campaign. The first section discusses the importance of driving a zero-emission vehicle, while the second section encourages us to get solar panels and a battery and convert our home into what they call a hybrid solar option.