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Biofuels Essay

1222 words - 5 pages

In recent years environmental problems, especially the use of fossil fuels, has become one of the most commonly debated issues. It is widely known that fossil fuels are non-renewable resources and the use of fossil fuels harm the environment, such as the combustion process of fossil fuels that leads to global warming. However, current societies are still dependent on fossil fuels. Because of the environmental problems and in order to decrease the wide-ranging consumption of fossil fuels, researches argue that agricultural based fuel or bio-fuel is one alternative to replace fossil fuels and apply it as a new energy source. In general, bio-fuels are fuels that predominantly are produced from bio-renewable or renewable feedstock, such as corn, sugarcane, wheat and so on. There are many kinds of bio-fuels and each country develops different types. For instance, Brazil produces sugarcane based bio-fuels. Global development of bio-fuels is required; however, the effectiveness and the sustainability of bio-fuels compared to fossil fuels should be addressed. This essay asserts that the utilization of bio-fuels in the world is not a viable alternative to fossil fuels because it confronts difficulties and results in disadvantages in the future. The arguments to against bio-fuels which will be assessed are related to social structure, economic development and the cost of production, as well as the arguments concerning agriculture and environment.
Firstly, an important issue that should be considered is the use of bio-fuels and the problems posed in the social structure. Because bio-fuels benefit for the environment, bio-fuels production and the fuel market will grow rapidly; therefore, the availability of resources is an important factor. As a result, there is an increase of demand for grains due to the population growth (Blum et al., 2010; Lancaster, 2002). One of the most conspicuous problems has undoubtedly been the worldwide food crisis (Murphy, 2009). The production of bio-fuels crops increases the competition in land utilization among food crops and bio-fuels feedstock. Hence, food prices that are based on the same yield will increase sharply and consequently might result in food shortage for people who spend most of their household income on food (Cockerill & Martin, 2008; Popp, 2010; Reijnders & Huijbregts, 2009). Thereby, the huge subsidization of bio-fuels tends to give higher priority to bio-fuels rather than foods. This often results in reduced the food production and increase the food prices. Food shortage and great food prices have many negative effects for societies because food is fundamental to maintain life. The sharp upsurge in prices of food crops generates difficulties for the larger part of the world’s population. It has exacerbated the malnutrition and world hunger in countries and also makes the poor suffer (Murphy, 2009).
Secondly, production costs of bio-fuels can vary widely depending on the feedstock and the process of the...

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