R/€ = 15.31
R/$ = 13.44
Au 1166.92 $/oz
Pt 997.00 $/oz
Oct 13, 2008
Biofuels singled out as 'best option' for alternative fuels in SABack
© Reuse this The South African National Energy Research Institute’s (Saneri’s) programme manager for green transport has labelled biofuels as the country’s number one short-term option for alternative transport fuel.
Dr Titus Mathe said that, although the country had a range of alternative fuels available, biodiesel was very comparable to petrol and diesel in terms of energy content. It also offered a favourable impact on energy security, as it could be locally produced.
Mathe stated that implementing biodiesel in the transport sector would offer up the potential for upstream job creation, especially in rural areas. “Biodiesel can also make use of existing infrastructure, so there is not much we have to invest in terms of infrastructure.”
Compared with vehicles fuelled with conventional diesel an petrol, biodiesel offered up a 78% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, and a 10% to 48% reduction in particulate matter. Carbon monoxide emissions were also reduced by 47%.
He noted, however, that biofuel production had to be monitored to ensure that producers were not using food crops or farm areas dedicated to food crops, for producing biofuel.
Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) was rated as South Africa’s second best option for alternative transport fuel. It was readily available and safe to use, while also offering up significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Mathe stated that although LPG was readily available, the product itself had not taken off in the local market. However, he did not offer up an explanation for this.
Although hydrogen was actively being pursued as an alternative fuel source, it was more suitable to the long-term outlook. “This does not mean that we should stop with they hydrogen research, already there is research and development strategies looking at the cost of producing generic hydrogen.”
Hydrogen also offered zero emissions at the point of use, but greenhouse gases and toxic emission were emitted during the production and transportation of the fuel.
Mathe noted that no regulatory framework was in place yet for a hydrogen fuel economy, and that the fuel was expensive to produce. South Africa also currently has a lack of storage facilities for this gas.
In 2007, South Africa’s demand for liquid transport fuels rose to 23 707-million litres, while State-owned power utility Eskom’s gas turbine power plants demanded about 600-million litres.
Mathe stated that the transportation fuel market represented about 53% of the world’s refinery product demand, and the share of transportation fuels in the oil market was projected to increase further in the coming decades.
“Therefore, transportation fuel demand will increasingly determine the demand for crude oil, affecting the price of crude oil.”
Mathe added that the world energy outlook for 2004 predicted that there was sufficient oil resources in place for the period up to 2030, after which it was unclear how oil production would develop.
“Going into the future, there is going to be a shortage of liquid fuels. There are plans to increase the capacity of liquid fuels, but hopefully the production of alternative fuels would help in mitigating the situation.”
Edited by: Liezel Hill© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Energy News
Article contains comments
Updated 1 hour 57 minutes ago Agri SA is calling for urgent clarification of the correct wording and interpretation of the governing party’s decision, whereby the 50/50 proposal, which requires farmers to hand over half their land to their workers, has been accepted as African National Congress...
Updated 2 hours 11 minutes ago South Africa should not be allowed to create new coal-fired power stations if it is to tackle its carbon emissions and meet the global goal of keeping temperature increases below 2 °C, says South African environmental and antinuclear organisation Earthlife Africa...
Updated 2 hours 15 minutes ago Integrated information and communications technology (ICT) systems provider Datacentrix has lifted earnings attributable to shareholders for the six months ended August 31, by 15.4% to R54.5-million and headline earnings per share (HEPS) by 14% to 27.7c, benefitting...
Recent Research Reports
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Engen Driver Wellness, the mobile health awareness initiative, continues to make a tangible difference to the lives of the country’s bulk truck operators with increased driver participation in voluntary screenings and improved health scores. Now in its fifth year,...
At the sixth IQ Business conference held in Sandton last month, a panel of business leaders and academics advocated that business reclaims the initiative to spur growth in South Africa amid fragmented and haphazard political direction. Management consulting firm IQ...
The building industry is an essential component of the South African economy as it contributes about 15% to the gross fixed investment that drives the economy. However, with the country’s economy going through a tough time currently, this, in turn, reflects on the...
The recipients of the 2015 South African National Energy Association (Sanea)/South African National Energy Development Institute Energy (Sanedi) Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet in Sandton last month. Sanea chairperson Brian Statham named Exxaro CEO...
As South African information technology (IT) firm EOH posted another full year of strong growth, CEO Asher Bohbot, known for his frank words, people-centric management style and stoic humanism, attributed the company’s continued South African and African growth to...