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Problems with fossil fuels.

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Problems with fossil fuels Methane hydrate Gas hydrates, such as methane hydrate, occur abundantly in arctic regions and undersea sediments. The amount of carbon bound in gas hydrates worldwide is estimated to be over twice the total amount known in all fossil fuels on Earth. This seems to provide the world with a tremendous new fossil fuel source. The deposits of methane hydrate close to Japan, for example, could provide enough natural gas to supply Japan for a century. A gas hydrate is a crystalline solid consisting of gas molecules, such as methane, each surrounded by a 'cage' of frozen water molecules. It looks much like ordinary ice. Methane is produced when vegetable matter decomposes. It forms methane hydrate when conditions are very cold and the pressure of the gas is high. ...read more.


As oil supplies begin to diminish, alternatives to petrol and diesel for our transport needs are being investigated. One such fuel is bioethanol. What is bioethanol? Bioethanol is a fuel that can be used in all vehicles. It can be blended with petrol at 5% without the need to change fuel or engine specifications. It can be easily distributed using existing filling stations. Bioethanol is produced by the fermentation of crops such as cereals, sugar beet and maize. At current oil price levels, bioethanol is more expensive to produce than petrol, but it does have enormous benefits. Why bioethanol? The UK government has set its own target to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20% by 2010. This represents over 80 million tonnes of CO2 per year. ...read more.


At least 20 000 new jobs could be created in support of a UK bioethanol industry. Europe imports almost 80% of its petrol needs and the demand for oil is increasing. The amount of oil needed for transport is forecast to rise by 2% per year. The UK will be a net importer of oil in the near future. Bioethanol produced from sustainable sources within the UK would contribute to having a secure fuel supply. What is needed to start a UK bioethanol industry? Because bioethanol cannot be produced as cheaply as petrol, government support will be needed to establish a viable bioethanol industry in the UK. The report Farming and Food - a Sustainable Future recommended that the duty paid on bioethanol be reduced to 4.5p per litre - the same as that for other 'clean' fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). ...read more.

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