Videography by Nerine & Robert Clemenzi, Edited by Nerine Clemenzi
Copyright © Philosophical Society of Washington. All rights reserved.
Biofuels are a subject that has triggered sharply polarized views among policy-makers and the public. Some characterize them as a panacea: a central technology to combat climate change. Others criticize them: as a diversion from the tough action they say is needed to mitigate climate; or as a threat to food security. And others criticize them as uneconomic and financially wasteful.
In fact, biofuels comprise a wide spectrum of chemicals from conventional bio-ethanol to bio-methane to advanced biodiesel fuels and beyond. Each has its feedstocks and distinctly different production processes. Biofuels are not all equal in their potential impact on the environment, their economics and their potential to decrease the climate footprint of energy production.
This lecture will summarize key issues associated with different biofuels and will concentrate on the production of bio-methane from waste products generated by an advanced economy such as that of the US. The lecture will discuss the potential of bio-methane as a transportation fuel and the technological issues and the market entry barriers that bear on its adoption as a major transportation fuel.
John G. Ingersoll is the immediate past President of the Philosophical Society of Washington. He is the founder and president of EcoCorp, a company engaged in developing large-scale biomethane fuel production capacity, domestically and internationally. Before establishing EcoCorp, Mr. Ingersoll held senior technical and management positions in academia at UC Berkeley and USC, in government, with the US Navy and the State Department, and in private industry at Hughes Aircraft and General Motors.
Mr. Ingersoll has worked since the early 1980s in the development and implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy both in the built environment and in transportation, including work on indoor air quality, energy efficiency in buildings, electrochemical energy storage systems, advanced systems for electric, hybrid and natural gas vehicles, and renewable energy production.
Mr. Ingersoll earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University, a PhD in Physics from UC Berkeley, and an executive MBA from UCLA. He is author or co-author of four books on energy and of more than one hundred papers and reports. He has received numerous awards for work on sustainable energy utilization and environmental design.
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