"Engineering, in antiquity as now, is the process of finding a way through and over the challenges of environment and culture."
John Noble Wilford
If engineers could design and build a prototype of a universal bio-fuel conversion machine that was affordable, capable of mass production, and space-efficient enough to be on every farm, and perhaps in every home, it would truly be an invaluable wonder. If a farmer could collect the waste of his livestock and remains of his crops and deposit them into a machine that would convert them to a concentrated bio-fuel which he could use to power vehicles and generators, not to mention sell to energy companies that would pass it on to other consumers, it would be an incredible way to facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels and toward bio-fuel. It is likely that such a machine could be used by more than just farmers to generate fuel. Many production processes generate waste that could possibly be converted in this way as well.
If it also was possible to design a machine so efficient that the average household could use it to convert their waste into bio-fuel for personal use or to sell to an energy supplier, the impact on our economy and natural environment would be even greater. Such an invention would revolutionize not just the energy industry and how we power our machines, but also the recycling and waste disposal industries, environmental conservation, and the design and production of future products that would benefit society.
If engineers meet such a challenge, it would have an almost immediate, beneficial impact on the energy security of every country now totally dependent on fossil fuels, on the prospects for economic growth now hampered by the high price of oil, and on the health and future of our planet and the other species that share it. I know that the most worthy endeavors are rarely easy, but the rewards are worth the effort. I humbly commend this challenge to our engineers in hopes of achieving a cleaner, more prosperous world in this century.