Green living is the motto of today. Find the advantages and disadvantages of biofuels in this article.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Biofuels

“Save the world, make it a better place... For you and for me and for the entire human race…”These are the wordings from a song by the late Pop-King, Michael Jackson. Green revolution has influenced people so much so that the eco savvy people across the globe have been seen putting their heads together to make our world a better place to live in. The common people also have left no stone unturned, from running for environment to becoming members of PETA, all in the name of saving the nature. All this hullabaloo over the nature is because of the ozone fissure which is posing threat to the entire mankind. High carbon emissions have led to global warming, which in turn is responsible for melting of glaciers, rise in sea levels rise, and is projected to lead to catastrophic consequences. With millions of carbon emitting vehicles plying on the roads all over the world, how can you expect the ozone to fill up the hole? It is then you get a clearer picture of biofuels. Biofuels are fuels made from any combustible plant or animal resources.  These fuels are usually in the form of alcohols, esters, ethers, and other chemicals produced from biomass. The two main biofuels are biodiesel and bioethanol. Though biofuels are good in terms of their ecological sustainability, they have their own disadvantages as well. 
Pros And Cons Of Biofuels 
  • They are made from renewable resources.
  • They are biodegradable and reduce the danger of contamination of soil and underground water during transport, storage and use.
  • Biofuels are devoid of sulphur, the element responsible for acid rain.
  • Biodeiesel is relatively less inflammable compared to the normal diesel.
  • Biodiesel has a higher cetane and lubricity rating than pure petroleum-based diesel fuel, which improves engine efficiency and operating life cycle.
  • Biofuel refineries are comparitively simpler and environmental-friendly in design than typical petrochemical refineries.
  • Ethanol-blended fuels such as E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) can reduce the net emissions of greenhouse gases by as much as 37%
  • Biofuels promote energy security as they reduce the reliance on importing crude oil and in the process saves valuable foreign exchange.
  • Biodiesel is more expensive than normal diesel fuel.
  • It is less suitable for use in low temperatures.
  • It cannot be transported in pipelines.
  • Biodiesel is more likely to attract moisture than petroleum diesel, which can cause problems in cold weather.
  • Production of ethanol requires large amounts of land and this too can lead to environmental destruction. For example, Brazil, produces ethanol from sugar cane but in the process it is cutting down the Amazon rain forest, thus causing great damage to the environment.
  • Growing crops for biofuel also leads to fossil fuel emmissions and other types emissions as crops are to be planted, fertilized, treated, harvested, transported and processed before they can be converted into fuel.

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