At down to Earth, it is part of our philosophy and our editorial line to talk about inspiring initiatives which contribute to a more sustainable future, wherever they spring up, even if they do not seem to relate immediately to Danone’s priorities. Some issues are crucial to every living being on this planet.
Energy is one of those issues. Since the Industrial Revolution the development of massive, reliable and manageable energy sources has been a strong driver of human progress, allowing us to travel, build, manufacture, communicate, save time, improve our living conditions, discover the world, etc. The level of development we have achieved today would never have been possible without these energy sources – including fossil fuels. But this incredibly rapid development has come at a price: burning vast amounts of fossil fuels to meet our energy needs has impaired the natural balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen on the surface of our planet. We emit more than nature can sequestrate.
Global warming has several causes, and the emission of greenhouse gases is an important one. A new balance must be found between our energy needs – which keep increasing as the world population grows and as vast parts of the globe continue to develop – and the protection of our environment – i.e. its climate, its biodiversity and its ecosystems.
The field of renewable energies keeps growing, and new technologies are developed every day to find clean responses to our energy needs. Among them is “blue petroleum”, “the first clean petrol in the world.”
Transitioning to a post-fossil fuels world
Blue Petroleum is produced by Spain-based company BFS (Bio Fuel Systems), which bases its work on the principle that we must find a way to “continue with the infrastructure and the development of our life system” while curbing our environmental impacts. BFS believes that this will not be possible through solar and wind energy alone, and has developed its own solution: artificial oil, produced through “a process based on the capture and accelerated conversion of CO2 using features such as solar energy, photosynthesis and electromagnetic fields. The process of controlled synthesis enables us to obtain an artificial fuel similar to fossil fuel without sulphur or heavy metals,” in a much shorter time (it took around a million years for the fossil fuels we are currently using to form). Each barrel of this “blue oil” is produced using around two tons of C02. Half of it will never be emitted, even when the oil is burnt. In other words, each barrel keeps a little less than a ton of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere. Any machine currently using petroleum can use this artificial oil, with no particular adaptation required. This new source of energy meets four main criteria: energy density (it has a high calorific power), efficiency (the energy produced per unit of time represents 8,000 hours per year), inexhaustibility (it is replicable without limit) and storability & transportability.
With this new process, Bernard A.J. Stroïazzo-Mougin, its inventor, hopes he has found a solution to the over-production of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. On the company’s website, it stresses its willingness to address environmental issues and writes with enthusiasm:
BFS has the technology necessary to reconcile growing energy demand and environmental protection.
It nevertheless admits that the success of the technology will depend on everyone’s willingness to really change things. In the meantime, there is a new blue drop in the ocean of initiatives that seek to prepare the transition to a post-fossil fuel world.
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