I am working on a research paper for an english class. I am intending to cover alternative fuels, primarily ehtanol and biodiesel in comparison with gasoline and diesel.
Subtopics I want to look into: Efficiency of the motors using certain fuels, the available energy of the fuels, the energy required to produce the fuels (for example, everything from how many gallons of fuel used from plow to harvest on an acre of corn) Other consequences of using certain fuels, i.e. increased pesticide use to produce more corn and its enviromental effects (such as the increasing size of the 'dead zone'), increased use of a decreasing fresh water supply, increased costs of food corn due to larger percentage of production heading into ethanol production. While also looking at ways to make the numbers better, more localized production of biodiesel versus doing large scale refineries such as we do for petrodiesel.
So, for a more detailed example.
I know that some of you use biodiesel created from used vegtable oils, organic garbage, etc. However, this would not work on a much larger scale, since there is simply not enough of these used products to produce enough biodiesel to replace petrodiesel. what are the other options? Are they interchangeable with petrodiesel in the prototypical diesel engine (Can I run it in an old or new F-350 with no or little work done on fuel delivery or combustion systems?) In order to keep the costs down, we would need smaller, more localized refineries for biodiesel production from wood pulp and other organics versus the system we use now where we will transport the same petro thousands of miles from the coast to the refineries to the end-users.
I am having problems finding sources on alot of this, scholarly sources obviously, don't know if it is a problem with my search terms or what, any help on location sources is appreciated.
Like Carl said, join us in the biodiesel forum here: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/forum168/ I have been making and using biodiesel for 5 years now, and have gigs of data saved that would be of great help to your project. There is a wealth of info in our bio forum that you could use, and you can PM me if you have a specific request.