Liquid wood may be a viable alternative to residual oil

Liquid wood may be a viable alternative to residual oil

February 27, 2012 0 By Bret Williams

As the world’s nations continue to look for alternatives to conventional fuel, many are discovering new ways to generate electricity more efficiently.

One such method is liquid wood. What may sound like a far-fetched idea is, in fact, a reality. In the U.S. many power plants generate electricity by using residual oil fuel – the heavier and dirtier component of oil – to produce electricity. Liquefied wood can be used as an alternative to residual oil, however, and could generate more than 3,000 megawatts of electricity in the U.S. alone.

Liquid wood is not a new concept and is the result of a process known as pyrolysis.  This process is well known for its ability to convert biomass into liquid fuels. Generating power from liquid wood is fairly easy as it requires little more than boiling the fuel. The fuel burns more cleanly than oil, making it a viable alternative for countries looking to cut down on the harmful emissions they produce.

This kind of fuel can be used to power most major machinery found in industrial plants.

Florida and Hawaii account for the majority of the residual oil market in the U.S. with more than $3 billion in spending. By switching to liquefied wood, both states could save a significant amount of money and not lose anything in terms of energy production.

While liquid wood may not be an entirely clean alternative to oil, it may be a step in the right direction toward breaking dependence on oil.

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