Biofuels and renewables

Renewables    Jul 9, 2021 4:32 PM

Eric Johnson, Managing Director of Atlantic Consulting, spoke about the differences between biofuels and renewables.

Johnson explained that people often confuse renewables with bio, but these are two different issues, Valora Analitik reported.

He said that propane comes from crude oil and gas, while bio-propane comes from a different source: animal fat, vegetable oils, biomass, and waste residues.

Johnson said that bio-propane has a tiny carbon footprint. It is generally 80% lower than conventional or fossil propane.

The carbon intensity of propane can range from 75gr to 102gr of CO2 per megajoule (MJ) of fuel.

“Most bio-propane is currently between 35g and 40g of CO2 per MJ,” the expert highlighted.

Johnson said that global bio-propane capacity production is 5,000 tons per year at present; and growth expectations are 30% annually for the next 4 years.

He said that the main market is auto-gas (for cars), as more development is necessary to adapt it to heating and cooking.

“The costs and margins are similar to other biofuels. It requires incentives as most biofuels do not work without government incentives,” Johnson said.

Johnson acknowledged that there are regulatory challenges regarding renewable fuels in general.

“There is some ignorance on the part of regulators and standards, because most do not even know what propane is,” Johnson said.

The expert said that it is important to know what the carbon footprint of any fuel is.

“That can be calculated in different ways, and this is the reason why people have different answers,” Johnson said.

Bottom-Line: Colombia is beginning the process of energy transformation and education will be vital to successfully advance in this process.

Authorities should promote training on these issues in partnership with the private sector, as it will be essential to create an appropriate regulatory framework, aligned with the needs of companies.

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