Biofuel is another form of energy source that’s derived from any renewable materials whether it came from animals or plants. Few known examples of biofuel include the following:
- Ethanol – this frequently comes from corns in the US as well as sugarcane in Brazil
- Biodiesel – this one is sourced from liquid animal fats and vegetable oils
- Green diesel – its derived from plant sources like algae and;
- Biogas – basically, it’s methane that’s derived from animal manure as well as other digested organic material
Biofuels are more useful in form of gas or liquid as the transportation, delivery and burning of such material is easier and cleaner.
There are a lot of companies in energy industry deem biofuel as a vital material to the future of energy production. As a matter of fact, this is one of the reasons why many other businesses like Chiang Mai Hotels are also looking up for other options. Besides the fact that it is going to help the business save money, they’re contributing to environmental conservation as well. This is because of the fact that it is renewable and clean.
Ironically, majority of the big oil companies are pouring investments in advanced research for biofuel. ExxonMobil, the biggest oil company in the US states that they’re funding a wide portfolio of biofuels research program. This includes the ongoing efforts on algae and programs to convert alternatives similar to non-food based biomass feedstocks like cellulosic biomass to create it as advanced biofuels.
However, they warned that the scientific breakthroughs and technology advancements are crucial elements both in biomass optimization and processing of biomass into viable fuels.
Ceiling for Biofuel Usage
There are a number of people who are concerned with carbon dioxide emissions and energy security of biofuel if it is continued to be used as a fossil fuel alternative. On the other hand, it is inevitable that biofuel has its shortcomings too. For instance, it requires more ethanol compared to gasoline just to generate the same volume of energy. Critics are contending that the use of ethanol is just a huge waste since the production of ethanol normally creates net energy loss while increasing food prices.
Biofuels come to the point of contention for several conservation groups arguing bio-crops are better to be used as food source than fuel. Specific concerns are focused on using large volume of arable land needed to create bio-crops that then lead to problems similar to salinity, fertilizer run-off, soil erosion and deforestation.