A topic that has interested me is that of bio-fuels and bio-fuel technology. It isn’t something that is discussed heavily in the mainstream, but it is an industry that has grown significantly over the last two decades, is helping reduce the negative environmental impact of fossil fuels, and is proving to be a profitable industry with the potential for continued exponential growth.
Give a brief background on your subject of research. Bio-diesel fuel is a renewable energy source manufactured through animal fat, vegetable oils, or even used grease from restaurants that is utilized in equipment or vehicles which operate on diesel fuel. Bio-heat fuels are a blend of bio-diesel and ultra-low sulfur heating oil which is a better fuel for heating homes.
Is your subject purely science or technology? What is the basis of your decision? For me, this was a hard question to answer for this topic. I do not believe it is purely one or the other, but a combination of both. Bio-diesel fuel is created through a chemical process called transesterification, which is the science aspect. But the manufacturing and implementation of bio-diesel for use is accomplished through the use of current and advancing technologies.
Has science had an impact on the development of this technology? If so, what sciences and how? Absolutely! It is through science, specifically chemistry, that the creation of bio-diesel fuels is possible. Chemistry is used to split oils into two separate parts, esters and glycerin. The esters are the chemical name for bio-diesel and glycerin is used in a variety of products such as explosives or soap.
Dunn, Collin. (2007). Biodiesel: How It’s Made, Environmental Impact, Where to Find a Fueling Station, and More. Retrieved from https://www.treehugger.com/cars/biodiesel-how-its-made-environmental-impact-where-to-find-a-fueling-station-and-more.html (Links to an external site.)
Biodiesel. (2020, January 16). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiesel (Links to an external site.)
Biodiesel Basics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.biodiesel.org/what-is-biodiesel/biodiesel-basics (Links to an external site.)
Biodiesel. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/biodiesel.html