Recently, a lot has been said and written about the possible replacement for fossil fuels — biofuels. If you don’t know anything about biofuels, here is a straightforward guide to them, measuring their pros against their cons.
The PROS of biofuels
– All types of biofuels are carbon neutral. This means that the amount of carbon dioxide created by the burning of biofuels is equal to the CO2 absorption capacity of the plants. Hence, no extra CO2 remains in the atmosphere.
– Biofuels are much more environment-friendly than any other known form of fuels. Biofuels cause much less greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to the conventional types of transport fuels.
– Biofuels are very cheap to afford. They can easily help to save a lot of money usually spent on other type of fuels. They may be the cheapest types of fuels available in the world — they are even cheaper than the low priced fossil fuels.
– Biofuels are a perfect replacement for oil products like petrol and diesel. This is because biofuels are easily renewable and are very inexpensive to produce.
– Using biofuels can help to save some more money apart from the amount saved on its cost. Some of the world governments have started to offer tax incentives to the people who opt to buy greener cars which run on biofuels.
– Using biofuels can also help the economy (especially for countries who aren’t oil-rich), as it reduces the dependency on imported, foreign oils. This means that a large part of the national budget can be saved by relying on biofuels.
The CONS of biofuels
– The environmentalists say that if the use of biofuels is promoted, than more and more land will be used to produce crops to make biofuels. This will result in a loss of habitat for various species of animals and plants.
A concern that seems valid is that with the increased use of biofuels the farmers may star to grow crops meant for biofuel production rather than the ones that can be used as food. A reduced food production can increase the prices and cause the inflation to rise. The problem is expected to be at its worst in the developing countries. It is estimated that a total of 100 million people may suffer from the increase in the food prices.
– Although many researches show that biofuels do not emit enough carbon dioxide to trigger the greenhouse effect, another revelation has happened. A new research has revealed that the burning of materials to produce biofuels emits enough nitrous oxide to create a greenhouse effect.
– The process of biofuels production has been termed as non-sustainable. Most of the biofuels when produced tend to create a negative effect on food production. Also, no method of biofuels production has been discovered that does not cause any environmental problems.