Biofuels – Emiliano López Pereda
Type of energy
- Biofuels, wide range of fuels which are derived from biomass.
- This way of getting energy it’s non-renewable
- There are 2 types, Bioethanol and Biodiesel
Advantages and disadvantages
Cost: Once the technology is widely available, biofuels can be significantly less expensive than
gasoline and other fossil fuels, particularly as worldwide demand for oil increases, therefore
increasing oil and gasoline prices to unheard of levels.
Source Material: Whereas oil is a limited resource that comes from specific materials, biofuels
can be manufactured from a wide range of materials including crop waste, manure, and other
byproducts, making it a efficient step in recycling.
Renewability: It takes thousands of years for fossil fuels to be produced, but biofuels are much
more easily renewable as new crops are grown and waste material is collected.
Security: By reducing dependence on foreign fuel sources, countries can protect the integrity
of their energy resources and make them safe from outside influences.
Economic Stimulation: Because biofuels are produced locally, biofuel manufacturing plants can
employ hundreds or thousands of workers, creating new jobs in rural areas. Biofuel production
will also increase the demand for suitable biofuel crops, providing economic stimulation to the
Biodegradability: Biofuels are easily biodegradable and far safer to handle than traditional
fuels, making spills less hazardous and much easier and less expensive to clean up.
Lower Carbon Emissions: When biofuels are burned, they produce significantly less carbon
output and fewer toxins, making them a safer alternative to preserve atmospheric quality and
Production Carbon Emissions: Several studies have been conducted to analyze the carbon
footprint of biofuels, and while they may be cleaner to burn, there are strong indications that
the process to produce the fuel - including the machinery necessary to cultivate the crops and
the plants to produce the fuel - has hefty carbon emissions.
High Cost: To refine biofuels to more efficient energy outputs and to build the necessary
manufacturing plants to increase biofuel quantities will require a high initial investment.
Food Prices: As demand for food crops such as corn grows for biofuel production, it could also
raise prices for necessary staple food crops.
Water Use: Massive quantities of water are required for proper irrigation of biofuel crops as
well as to manufacture the fuel, which could strain local and regional water resources.
Availability: Biofuels are not widely available for consumer purchase and most vehicles are not
equipped to run on biofuel products. Limited availability reduces the desirability of biofuels as
alternative energy sources.
Smell: Biofuel production produces heavy smells depending on the type of materials used, and
those smells are generally undesirable near large communities. While manufacturing plants
can be isolated, this will add to the carbon emissions necessary to bring fuel to population
How it is extracted
- Bioethanol: Bioethanol is an alcohol made by fermenting the sugar components of plant
materials and it is made mostly from sugar and starch crops. With advanced technology
being developed, cellulosic biomass, such as trees and grasses, are also used as feedstocks
for ethanol production. Ethanol can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is
usually used as a gasoline additive to increase octane and improve vehicle emissions.
Bioethanol is widely used in the USA and in Brazil.
- Biodiesel: Biodiesel is made from vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled greases. Biodiesel
can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is usually used as a diesel additive
to reduce levels of particulates, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons from diesel-powered
vehicles. Biodiesel is produced from oils or fats using transesterification and is the most
common biofuel in Europe. Biofuels provided 1.8% of the world's transport fuel in[update]
2008. Investment into biofuels production capacity exceeded $4 billion worldwide in 2007
and is growing.
Specific located example
- EA Bioenergy, established in 1978 by the OECD International Energy Agency (IEA), with the
aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have
national programs in bioenergy research.
- The U.N. International Biofuels Forum is formed by Brazil, China, India, South Africa, the
United States and the European Commission