Have Biofuels Proven to be Effective and are They Sustainable?


January 23, 2014 :: Kelsey Prenevost
Moderated by Bev Muendel-Atherstone

It is largely accepted that our society will have to face the reality of climate change. The repercussions from shifts in our climate arguable include alteration of crop patterns, increasing sea levels and severe weather conditions. The process of global warming is believed to be exacerbated by anthropogenic (human) influence, mainly the combustion of fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when burned. The use of biofuels made from existing biomass are considered to be “carbon neutral”, meaning that unlike their petroleum counterparts, they are not contributing to the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels since they are made from carbon sources that are cyclically occurring in our ecosystem.

Biodiesel is quite effective at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. For each litre of biodiesel consumed, the accepted value of this reduction is 92% when compared to petroleum diesel. This translates into a 161,000 metric tonnes of reductions yearly from the Kyoto biofuel facility, the equivalent of 31,500 cars off the road. The speaker will argue biodiesel represents a shift towards sustainability in the transportation industry. Since it is made from waste greases, animal fats and oilseed crops etc., biodiesel is renewable in nature.

Speaker: Kelsey Prenevost

Kelsey is President of Kyoto Fuels Corporation, a company providing biodiesel and other alternative fuels to Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. He graduated from the University of Victoria with a BSc. in Biology and a minor in Biochemistry and Microbiology. He has over twelve years’ experience in the Biotechnology sector working with organizations such as the University of Victoria, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the University of Alberta.

Kelsey taught Environmental Issues and Microbiology at Lethbridge College for three years and was also the President of the Southern Alberta Group for the Environment (SAGE) from 2003-07. He sits on the Technical Advisory Committee of Light Up the World Foundation (“LUTW”), a non-profit organization based in Calgary that promotes renewable energy projects in developing communities around the globe.

Moderator: Bev Muendel-Atherstone


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