Breakthroughs For Petroleum's Competitors — Please Vote

Saturday, July 13, 2013

National Geographic asked two dozen experts what inventions and technical innovations biofuels need to become viable competitors to petroleum. You can read the whole article here: What Breakthroughs Do Biofuels Need?

The experts came up with five breakthroughs. One of them is "True Choice at the Pump," which I will excerpt below. Anne Korin, co-author of Petropoly and Turning Oil Into Salt, was one of the experts they talked to.

For biofuels to flourish, they have to be available to consumers, some experts pointed out. Currently, the pipelines and gas pump infrastructure is geared almost entirely to petroleum products (with ethanol a modest 10 percent blend-in to boost octane.) A key problem is that the majority of passenger cars in the United States are not designed to run on high blends of ethanol, even though the technology for flexible fuel cars is inexpensive and well-known. (Most cars in Brazil, for example, are flex-fuel vehicles.) “Let’s give the consumer a choice,” says Doug Berven, vice president of corporate affairs for biofuels company, POET.

Korin’s group endorses the idea of an “Open Fuel Standard,” a policy requiring automakers to make “truly fuel competitive” vehicles, able to run on something other than gasoline. She says it can’t be just requiring a choice of gasoline or ethanol — it has to include fuels such as methanol, which can be made from feedstocks like natural gas.

Beside each of the breakthrough titles are five stars so you can rate the solution. I encourage you to go to the page and vote.

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