Let’s Talk Sustainable Fuel and the Energy Transition

Flat World Partners
5 min readFeb 1, 2024

About | Mission | Blog

The natural ecosystems of the world today are suffering from mass depletion as the need for agricultural space has become the main challenge to the preservation of our environment. From the rainforests of South America to the wetlands in Asia, every natural biome is being turned into space to create food. Consequently mass food waste is created, carbon is released to the environment, and the vicious cycle continues. Why can’t we use these same crops, or food waste itself, to fuel our cities, vehicles, and means of transportation?

As many of us know, ethanol today has been largely adopted, but at levels of less than 10% of a regular car’s tank. This is because of the foundational design and the very nature of the automobile industry. Cars today are not built with motors capable of running on ethanol or any other biofuel. Additionally, ethanol itself has relatively low levels of energy when compared to petrol. So how does a sustainable fuel compete against the oil industry? Money.

The world today is in dire need of legislation, willing executives, and societal support who are willing to pressure and demand for more exploration, research, and funding for the development of sustainable fuels that not only fight food waste and the release of carbon to the environment but also reduces the depletion of our natural environments. The focus of the energy transition has mostly been centered around eolic, solar, and nuclear energy, but in reality, the food that we leave on our plates today, or even the dead matter found on agricultural lands, could be used to create fuel. What is needed to do this is further funding and development coupled with the cooperation and willingness of the automobile industry to work alongside scientists and energy experts to create vehicles and engines that can run on sustainable fuel.

If we take it a step further, houses, neighborhoods, cities and even countries could be powered not only by wind and solar energy but also by biomass and by sustainable fuels which replace fossil fuels like natural gas and petrol, the main fuels today which keep our houses warm and appliances running. Science today has proven that biofuel can be produced from things like algae or even dead leaves, the only problem is that this research does not have the political or monetary support to truly become a transformational force in the energy sector. And today’s technology does not allow us to harness energy from these sources at a rate or level which would significantly impact the way we live.

The lack of incentives for the ethanol and biofuel industry in the US is also a large problem and reason as to why it hasn’t been appropriately developed or applied in the world today. Since the passing of the Renewable Fuel Standard included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the government has essentially forced gasoline producers to blend ethanol into their products. This has massively discouraged development of the ethanol industry, including hampering competition and improving its efficiency and technology, which has largely been subsidized and reliant on he US government’s mandate.

Another problem with the ethanol industry in the US is its heavy reliance on corn. By no means am I suggesting that the current ethanol, or the materials used to produce it today are the solution, rather further research on alternative biofuels and different ways to create ethanol is needed.

In this way we can use products that the earth naturally creates to power our cities and vehicles and fight against the unsustainable energy industry we have created today. The only way forward is through willing politicians and individuals like yourself who care about our environment and want the technology and development needed to live more environmentally ethical lives and protect the earth.

Ignacio de Castro, Intern

The use of biofuels will only continue to increase, its adoption by all means of transportation including the airline industry is on its way.

Make sure your next car purchase is one which has an engine that takes flex-fuels and allows for higher blends of gasoline and ethanol such as the new Ford F-150.

The next time you are at a gas station make sure to check which gasoline you are using and if possible, use a flex-fuel that is not only composed of fossil fuels.

This newsletter is intended solely for informational purposes, and should not be construed as investment/trading advice and are not meant to be a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any securities mentioned. Any reproduction or distribution of this document, in whole or in part, or the disclosure of its contents, without the prior written consent of Flat World Partners is prohibited

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