Pros and cons of biofuels
While many people believe that biofuels are an excellent alternative to fossil fuels, lots of questions are still being asked in a bid to understand these fuels are even better. For instance, does biofuel affect the environment? How is algae converted into biofuel and feedstock? These are just some of the questions we will explore as we investigate the pros and cons of biofuels. But before we go into the investigation, let’s understand the basics first.
How Biofuels Are Created
Biofuels are created from biomass, which is a renewable energy source. What does this mean? It means that even though biomass is being consumed, it will always exist in one form or another so there’s no chance of running out of them anytime soon. Biomass includes such things as plants, animals and their by-products, and algae. These are known as biofuel feedstocks i.e. they are the raw materials used to create biofuels.
What Factors Are Considered When Finding Biofuel Feedstocks?
There are many factors to consider when looking for biofuel feedstocks. These include the following:
- Impact on the environment
- Suitability for growing in certain areas
- Ease of growing
Pros of Biofuels
Biofuels are renewable energy sources. That means that they are never going to run out.
- They have the potential to reduce our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels, which contributes significantly to global warming. This makes them a great alternative for anyone who wishes to lower their carbon footprint.
- Increased employment. As more and more biofuels are used, the demand for people to work in that industry increases. This means an increase in employment for many individuals across the world.
- Reduced wastes. When biofuels are used, there’s a lower chance of waste ending up in landfills.
Cons of Biofuels
Like with every good thing, biofuels have a bad side too.
- Possibility of deforestation. Some biofuel feedstocks require a lot of land to grow, which means there will be deforestation. This can lead to the loss of biodiversity.
- Biofuel feedstocks don’t survive in all areas. If growing conditions aren’t suitable, biofuel feedstocks will not survive.
- Uses up a lot of water. Water is essential for both growing biofuel feedstocks and converting them into fuel. Biofuels are one of the biggest water guzzlers in existence today, so they can be harmful if used carelessly.