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Driving forces for the development of new technologies for sustainable alternative fuel production from biomass and waste are as follows:

  • Long term increase in fossil fuel prices
  • Limits of global total oil production capacity (peak-oil)
  • Increasing fuel demand from emerging economies
  • Climate change
  • Dependence on fossil resources from politically instable regions
  • Agriculture subsidies
  • Waste problems

Thus sustainable produced alternative fuels will gain future importance. The question which kind of new fuels would be the best choice is strongly related to the following aspects:

  • Energy density
  • Production costs
  • Transport costs
  • Storage costs
  • Handling properties
  • Suitability for existing application systems
  • Sustainable production

According to these criteria, liquid hydrocarbon fuel oils from biogenic or waste-conversion sources show the most favourable characteristics of all alternate fuel options as long as they can be produced at reasonable costs and in an environmentally safe and sustainable manner.

Such fuel oils have by far the highest energy density compared to other alternative fuels currently discussed as shown in below and accordingly they need the smallest tanks.