Biofuels An Overview

· Ian J Miller

About this ebook

During the 1970s oil crisis, Dr Miller was
a Section Head at New Zealand's national chemistry laboratory, and during this
period he surveyed the technology available to make biofuels, and embarked on
his own program. Now, with a further resurgence of interest in biofuels, he has
repeated the exercise.  This ebook
summarizes the biomass resources that might be used to make biofuels, it
considers the technologies available to convert such resources to fuel, and it
outlines some of the physical constraints involved in converting a transport
system based on oil to renewables. There is no prescription of what will solve
these problems because there are too few data, but it tries to outline what we
know and what we do not know.

There is not an indefinite
supply of oil and the planet can only take so much burning of fossil fuels
without serious adverse consequences. While wasteful use should be avoided we
cannot close down a transport system. We must also grow sufficient food, and
other resources such as wood. This ebook outlines at least some of the options
that remain available.

About the author

Dr Miller graduated from the university of Canterbury, and initially worked at Chemistry Division, DSIR, in New Zealand to work first on lignin chemistry, then recycling, seaweed research, then hydrothermal wood liquefaction. In 1986 he left DSIR to set up Carina Chemical Laboratories Ltd, to carry out research to support the private half of a joint venture to make pyromellitates, the basis of high temperature resistant plastics. More recently, he has worked on the development of Nemidon gels ( and fuels and chemicals through the hydrothermal treatment of microalgae. He has written about 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, about 35 other articles, and was on the Editorial Board of Botanica Marina between about 1998-2008.  He has also written some science in fiction thriller-type novels that form a "future history", including Puppeteer, and Troubles which have been self-published as ebooks. Links can be found at


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