Biofuel an alternate energy option in some cases, not all

As the gas prices continue to creep towards the $2/litre mark in our region, the talk of becoming less oil-dependent grows.

One of those alternative renewable sources is Biofuel.

“It is living stuff, for example, the trees, the grass, the algae, the food waste come from biomass, from the crop crops or from residue,” says Western University Chemical Engineering professor Charles Xu.

The price difference between biofuel and petroleum-based fuel is still quite high. Meaning a switch isn’t feasible for passenger vehicles, but one of the biggest impacts you could see is in home heating.

“Enbridge has they have a voluntary renewable natural gas program,” says Brandon Moffatt, vice president of development at Stormfisher, an American company that has a Biofuel production facility in London.

“You as the homeowner can opt in to be using some of our gas as a part of your supply. And so it’s a new program that just released and this fuel here in Ontario and specifically in London, is being used in that program.”

Moffatt says Stormfisher is seeing a growing number of companies and municipalities taking a look at the circular economy.

“So they want to take their green bit organics produce renewable natural gas at a place like ours, and then put that back in a natural gas pipeline and maybe use it on solid waste vehicles,” Moffatt says.

With the price of oil projected to rise to record highs at least for the next year, that difference in price is narrowing.

“Our price, while higher is kind of static, where the price of fossil fuels are getting more expensive,” says Moffatt. “And with the addition of a carbon tax, you’re closing the cost parity, and so people want to reduce their carbon emissions. Our fuel becomes a very viable option.”

Couple that with a carbon tax that will progressively increase over the next 30 years, becoming carbon neutral will be necessary for many companies, says Xu.

“So this will drive more, shift more interest, and also more investment into the BioFuel sectors,” Xu says.

The Canadian government has set a target to be Net Zero on Carbon Emission by the year 2050.

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