Bioenergy was first discovered to be able to be used for combustible engines in 1826 by Samuel Morey. He used readily available alcohol to power the engines, but due to the popularity of steam engines and lack of funding, his work on using alcohol was pushed back. Also, with the onset of high taxes during the Civil War on alcohol, the uses of alcohol were drastically reduces as a source of energy and light. It wasn’t till the mid to late 1900’s that the use of alcohol and the production of other biofuels actually started to take off.
Well what if Samuel Morey had the funding needed to pursue the combustible engine idea further with alcohol? What if other biofuels were discovered in 1826 due to his experimentations and work? Would we still be using oil and gas to power our vehicles and other machines?
Ethanol is now used in our gas for our vehicles, but only 10%, and most vehicles on the road today do not handle the ethanol like they should causing a decrease in fuel mileage, which in turn increases fuel consumption.
What about using bioproducts? Typical plastics are made from oil, but can also be made from bio-based sources as well. Maybe if Samuel Morey or someone else during the industrial revolution had worked towards expanding bio-based products the use of oil for fuel and making of products wouldn’t be so high. We may not be using them at all. What do you think?
Want to read Part 1? Check out Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 1
Or how about Part 2? Check out Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 2
There is even a Part 3: Check out Renewable Energy and The Industrial Revolution: Part 3