I suppose there's really no one magic bullet to solve the energy problem, is there? Some avenues look to be more promising than others. And it looks more like we need a variety of sources to keep up with demand.<quoted text>
I have read up on biodiesel, or at least the cottage-industry methods used by smallish companies and individuals.
It is quite messy and smelly-- on a small scale. On large scale, the EPA would insist in air clean up, in the exhaust stacks, so it wouldn't be an issue, or it does not have to be.
One of the (currently) useless byproducts is glycol-- a kind of dirty, long-chain alcohol. Alas, it's too dirty to burn directly, so it's an unsatisfactory fuel-- but the small operators use it anyway, in spite of that.
Biodiesel is a good fuel, and modern engines like it very much-- in fact it works better than petro-diesel, as it has no sulfur compounds to corrode metal engine parts, and it leaves much less soot behind.
Alas, it has problems: it contains a bit less energy-per-liter than "regular" diesel, so mileage is lower. And it does not store long-term as well as petro-diesel. It will grow fungus, which clogs fuel filters. There's answers for that, of course.
Another problem with bio, is that it gets gel-like when too cold, and cannot be pumped at extreme low temperatures.
But it's 100% renewable. You can make biodiesel from anything that has fat in it-- like discarded turkey parts, or waste veggy oils/fats, or even waste animal fats too.
The process does involve hazardous chemicals (acid, wood alcohol) but those are not consumed entirely, and can be re-used with each cycle, with a small make-up addition as needed.
And the waste glycol is considered a mildly hazardous material-- on a large scale, disposal would be an issue.
But, I know! Let's consult the Bible! Surely, there's answers in there for where we should get our energy from once the population has gone forth an multiplied! After all, it is quite detailed in other aspects of our lives. Like decorating Christmas trees or getting a tattoo or what is acceptable to eat.
Good thing I was only typing that. I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face if I said that.