Total world energy consumption is projected to more than double in the coming decades. This demand cannot be met by simply scaling up each of the current sources of energy. Doubling the current consumption of fossil fuels is particularly problematic. Known reserves of oil are projected to last for about another 50 years based on current consumption, so this does not represent a long term sustainable solution. Reserves of coal and natural gas may last longer but are also non-sustainable. Furthermore, the environmental consequences of consumption of fossil fuels represent an urgent and serious problem which should not be ignored.
Clearly it would be preferable to fill this energy gap with carbon free or carbon dioxide neutral sources. Biomass is an attractive option as it represents a renewable and sustainable CO2 neutral energy source. Biodiesel, a liquid fuel derived from vegetable oil, is an attractive candidate as it is cleaner and can directly replace petroleum diesel in most applications. Current biodiesel production technology uses catalysts developed over 100 years ago, requires time consuming and costly manufacturing steps, and suffers from yield losses due to downstream processing requirements. G2 catalysts consisting of solid base materials will simpify the manufacturing process and result in substantial savings in both operating costs and capital costs for plant construction.