March 23, 2012

Studies Prove The Effectiveness of Bio Fuels:

But more needs to be done, and quantified

Going green will not only improve the health of the planet but can make an improvement in the quality of the air we breathe. Air pollution, both indoor and outdoor, can seriously affect our general health and cause multiple health issues for individuals. Poor indoor/workplace air quality can lead to serious cancers like black lung disease, mesothelioma or Hodgkin disease. Though indoor air quality is an important matter, everyday air pollution is just as bad or maybe even worse since it can affect a wide range of people.

Carbon Dioxides, particulate matter, hydrocarbons and more are released into the atmosphere and contribute to a number of health issues. Cancers, lung disease, asthma and other respiratory ailments can all be attributed to pollution in the air. This is evident by the higher rates of health issues around industrialized areas where minimum air quality requirements are not met.

Biodiesel fuels are one product that the green market offers that works to lower carbon dioxide and other dangerous chemicals from the atmosphere. Biodiesel fuels are taken from renewable sources such as soybeans and other agricultural byproducts. They are biodegradable, through a process called transesterification, where the glycerin is separated from the fats. The oils and grease from these bio sources are then converted into fuel, which can be used alone or as extenders in other fuels.

Though these qualities of bio fuels seem incomparable to our current use, questions still arise. Though bio fuels burn clean, without releasing chemicals and fumes, and come from endless renewable sources, but is this enough to lower the amounts of air pollution and improve the quality of what we breathe?

Thanks to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), there is solid evidence that bio fuels are the way to go and are enough to help combat the pollution crisis. The NREL conducted a study regarding the use of biodiesel fuels on a fleet of heavy duty diesel trucks. The study was aimed to determine the effect that biodiesel and biodiesel blends have on the emissions from these trucks. In essence, the study found that risk of premature deaths due to exposure from air toxins is reduced by 2-5%, and the amount of particulate matter was reduced by 4-7%.

Although the effects of biodiesel fuel on air quality have not been quantified by the EPA or other institutions, it is clear is there is an advantage to using bio fuels. When used with diesel engines, the emissions improve ignition and oxidant distribution, thus improving overall emissions. Dangerous hydrocarbons and particulate matter have an inherent toxicity. Because biodiesel reduces the toxicity of particulate matter, it's important to explore this potential option for lowering health issues

1 comment:

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