Are Biofuels More Eco-Friendly?

Are Biofuels More Eco-Friendly?

Biofuels are transportation fuels that are made through biomass being directly converted into liquid fuel.  Gasoline and diesel are the most common transportation fuel used today.  Typically, to create these biofuels, gasoline or diesel is combined with some kind of ethanol.  It is common for corn ethanol to be used as the source of the biofuel.   

Biodiesels are ethanol mixed with diesel fuel.  These products can be derived from new and used vegetable oils or animal fats.  This makes them cleaner burning, nontoxic, and more biodegradable than regular diesel fuels.  

What is the purpose of biofuels?  

The main goal of having a biofuel is to cut down on carbon emissions.  By combining the ethanol with the gasoline or diesel you are effectively cutting out some of the carbon monoxide that would have been released from burning straight gasoline or diesel.  In turn, the ethanol releases octane which is a cleaner waste product than carbon monoxide.   

Biofuels are gaining popularity with companies as they are pushed to lean towards more ecofriendly options.  Reducing carbon emissions and lessening the dependency on fossil fuels is a great way to start a more ecofriendly company, it is quite convenient that biofuels are able to do both.   

Now, are biofuels actually more eco-friendly?

On the outside, biofuels seem like a great option.  They produce less emissions, they are easy to make, they are made from plants (like corn), they are compatible with most car engines.  But is it a good enough solution?   

With every ecofriendly option, there are downsides.  The same is true of biofuels.  In order to grow corn for biofuels, more land will be needed to farm.  We cannot use corn that is used in food products for biofuels or we pull from the already limited food sources available to humans.  Since we need land that is able to grow crops, we must take this land from where things are already growing, meaning you are cutting down acres upon acres of trees in order to plant corn for biofuels.

Biofuels are not the perfect ecofriendly solution, however they are a step in the right direction.   

Any questions?

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