Biofuel or Soybean?

Posted on March 6, 2008. Filed under: Energi Alternatif | Tags: , , |

The Jakarta Post, Wed, 03/05/2008

I refer to your report in The Jakarta Post on Feb. 14 on the development of 100,000 hectares of cassava and sweet potatoes for the production of 100,000 metric tons per year of bioethanol for automotive applications as biofuels (pg. 13).

The price increase is the result of shortage of soybeans imported into Indonesia from the U.S. where land for soybeans cultivation is now being converted for corn and maize to make ethanol biofuel for automotive applications.

It is an established scientific fact in thermodynamics (the science of conversion of heat energy into mechanical energy and motion) that the burning of fuels like diesels, gasoline, bioethanol, biodiesel in heat engines to produce mechanical work and motion, only 30 percent of the heat produced is converted to work and motion.

The remaining 70 percent of the heat cannot be utilized and escapes into the atmosphere. In other words, for every liter of fuel poured into a fuel thank, only 30 percent of the fuel is used to move the vehicle and the rest contributes to global warning — an inconvenient thermodynamic truth.

LEO M.C. PAUL
Jakarta

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