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Biofuels Production Managers

History

Organic materials have been used as energy sources since early times. For example, wood was used by prehistoric civilizations to heat homes, cook food, and provide light. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, vegetable oil was used successfully to power engines. Rudolf Diesel used peanut oil to power his diesel-fueled engine, and Henry Ford's Model T ran on biofuel created from hemp. Fossil fuels abounded back then, however, so there was not great interest in using biofuels as alternative energy sources.

Fuel shortages in the 1900s sparked new interest in exploring biofuels. During the Second World War, the Germans addressed a dire fuel shortage by using potatoes and wood to create ethanol and methanol for fuel. The American fuel shortage in the 1970s shed light on how dependent the country had become on foreign-imported oil and the importance of having other sources of energy. The energy crisis came about when Middle Eastern countries issued an embargo on oil exports to Western nations, to express anger over outsiders' involvement in Arab-Israeli conflicts.

The shortage of fuel resulted in long lines at gas stations and high fuel costs. It also raised awareness about energy conservation and natural resources. Large, gas-guzzling cars had been popular before the energy crisis. Soon, smaller, fuel-efficient cars grew in popularity, as did carpooling and the use of mass transit. Many countries today have mandates and policies regarding the development of alternative fuels. The Renewable Fuel Standard program in the United States, for instance, mandates that a certain volume of renewable fuel is used to replace or reduce the quantity of petroleum-based transportation fuel, heating oil, or jet fuel. Biofuels production managers help in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of biofuels.

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