Biofuel Emission Problems

Biofuel Emission Problems

While biofuels are generally supported by many individuals as being an ecologically friendly alternative to conventional petroleum-based fuels such as gasoline or diesel recently released findings from the European Commission in Brussels, released under the Freedom of Information Act, note that some biofuel products actually release up to as much as four times more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than petroleum based products. Of particular note in particular are more crude biofuel products such as fuel oils derived from soyabean biomass.

This emission difficulty is compounded even further by the fact that in order to generate biomass for biofuel production plant life must generally be destroyed for the extraction of the nutrients necessary. This means that not only are carbon dioxide molecules released into the atmosphere during the burning process but the cleansing source to remove the carbon dioxide and generate oxygen is also eliminated. While it is true that this can generally be offset by selective biofuel production and rotations in order to create a carbon neutral environment this also depends on the specific crop used and the processing done after the biomass harvesting in order to generate a cleaner burn for the fuel (generally requiring additional energy and fuel to process the biomass into an end product).

Biofuels have had a long-standing battle for usage in many markets due to their questionable eco-friendliness for a number of years, and the recent data released by the European Commission is likely to fuel support in opposition of biofuel development in many areas. Those opposing widespread biofuel usage further find support on the fact that biofuel production can and has had a significant impact upon the food industry, causing many staple food products in many areas to skyrocket in price over the past few years as biofuel demands struggle to be met in many locations and producers find selling their food stock to fuel companies much more profitable than selling directly into the foodstuff sector.

Other concerns over emissions issues related to biofuels lie heavily in transportation costs associated with fuel transportation due to the fact that many areas in heavily industrialized zones such as Europe lack the production area necessary for a highly sustainable biofuel sector unlike many fertile lands in South America. The additional emissions caused in the necessary transport process to meet local needs simply adds to the overall negative impact biofuels have, thus putting additional pressure on those supporting biofuel usage globally as an effective alternative fuel source to conventional fuels.

1 Comment »

  1.  
    Gregory D. MELLOTT Says:

    NASA recently had a lecturer say that airplane were not likely to use anything else but a high quality diesel type fuel for safety reasons. If fact I read sometime before that, a soybean derived fuel was had the most power in it, as it burned at a higher temperature; and so was being seriously looked at by the Air Force. So should other modes of transportation find other sources of energy to run on, air transportation will likely always need a fuel oil.

    You might also note

    http://www.biofuelswatch.com/clean-hydrogen-production/comment-page-1/#comment-1371

    where I comment on CO2 and methane containment concerns among other things.

    Sincerely, gdm

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