HEADING TOWARD INDEPENDENCE IN HOME HEATING
The production of biofuels is a growing segment of the energy industry. Although it is still a small portion of over-all energy production, biofuels of many types are gaining appeal for those interested in the protection of the world’s ecology. Biofuels can be generated through several different means. The prospects for usage continue to grow and adapt to the marketplace. According to the government’s Energy Information Administration, by 2010 the relative share of renewable energy to the total energy consumption had grown to 8%.
When one looks at the biofuel industry with an eye toward home heating, it becomes evident that a lot more development will be needed before such fuels become a sizable portion of the market. At present, most biomass conversion to fuels has been geared toward transportation fuels such as biodiesel and gasoline substitutes. However, the use of biofuel for generation of electricity is slowly gaining ground. In that case, the fuel is used much the same way that petroleum and natural gas are used: the fuel is burned to heat water, in order to create steam to turn the turbines which generate the electricity.
The direct use of biofuel for heating has been centered primarily on the development of conversion of wastes, plant matter, sewage and manure into biogas. Such gas can then be burned for cooking or for heating purposes. Converting such substances helps reduce greenhouse gases in the environment, which benefits the overall environment.
The difficulty for the ordinary home owner in converting to using most biofuels for home heating is that their heating equipment cannot necessarily handle the differently sourced fuels. Not all biofuels are “drop-in,” meaning that they can be used in standing equipment without conversion concerns. If a home owner is serious about adapting their home heating system to the use of biofuel, some adjustments would need to be made.
In the long run, the promise of biomass conversion to fuels gives users the hope of becoming independent of the need for fossil fuel usage. The object is to secure energy and heating sources that are not prey to the hazards of international politics. By turning to literally home-grown sources of biomass to convert to fuels of all types, citizens can have a great and more economical future.
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