Biofuels to Be Utilized for Transport

Biofuels to Be Utilized for Transport Biofuels to Be Utilized for Transport

The national project for utilization of biofuels in transportation system will become operational in the near future, head of Biofuels Committee at the Biotechnology Development Association of the Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology said.

The advantages of biofuels, especially biodiesel, as additive or an eco-friendly substitute for fossil fuels have been overlooked, and no plans were devised to inform and encourage the population to draw on such valuable resources, Meysam Tabatabaei was quoted by IRNA as saying.

Biofuel is produced through contemporary biological processes, such as agriculture and anaerobic digestion, rather than a fuel produced by geological processes such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum from prehistoric biological matter.

Biodiesel can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is usually used as a diesel additive to reduce levels of particulates, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons from diesel-powered vehicles. Even though biofuels were put in use globally in the past 70 years, Iran has failed to exploit its advantages, notwithstanding the fact that most pollutants in major Iranian cities are caused by excessive consumption of fossil fuels, Tabatabaei said.

"In view of the growing rate of fuel consumption in Iran, the country will no longer be able to export oil in the next few years as consumption is projected to be on a par with production," he added.

Currently huge amounts of oil from food wastes are discharged into soil and water sources, which lead to environmental disasters. Besides, considerable volumes of such oils are utilized in production of cosmetics and health products, as well as human and animal foodstuffs.

"This will give rise to serious health problems," Tabatabaei said.

But the country’s growing population and its increasing energy demands, which are exhausting its fossil fuel resources on the one hand, and the environmental crisis that has been created by the rising consumption of these fuels on the other, seem to have finally triggered a call for change.

The Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology is now planning to utilize biofuels in public and private transportation systems, and the Biofuels Committee has called on industrial food factories, restaurants and relevant companies to cooperate with the committee to this end.

The project will initially be launched at pilot scale. It will involve the blending of bioethanol and biodiesel with conventional gasoline in buses, minibuses and select cars in Iran’s free trade zones, Tabatabaei said in March.

The objective is to prepare the ground for the nationwide implementation of measures to start using biofuels in the near future.