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How Biofuels Can Help Save Our Planet

1033 words - 5 pages

Introduction
The lifestyle that most North Americans living in metropolitan and suburban regions leads to the burning of many fossil fuels which release many toxic gasses into the atmosphere. These gasses are not only extremely harmful for living things to breathe in (excluding plants), but they can lead to the end of the human race completely if the production of these gasses is eliminated or slowed to an amount where the planet can naturally clean itself. The most common gas that is produced is called Carbon Dioxide (also known as CO2). High CO2 levels in the atmosphere can lead to many issues.
One of the most effective ways to cut down on the amount of carbon dioxide that we produce ...view middle of the document...

(Greenhouse Effect, 3M)

The greenhouse effect can lead to global warming, which poses huge issues for our planet. Some of the major issues with global warming is that it can lead to wild fires, and flooding which can destroy crops and cities. High levels of CO2 (including the effects of global warming) can lead to illness and disease that are heat related (heat stroke, ect.) and respiratory related. Not only does the Carbon Dioxide effect land plants and animals, but sea creatures are also affected because more CO2 is absorbed into the water. (Carbon Dioxide Emissions, Skeptical Science)
Biofuels
Biofuels are an extremely realistic solution to the problem in which we face. They work by adding one of the products of a process called transesterification which removes the glycerine (the carbohydrate) which is sold to other companies to make things such as soaps, leaving methyl esters which is then added to conventional diesel in order to make a biofuel which is significantly cleaner and less toxic then conventional fuel. Figure 2 shows the comparison between 3 biofuels, regular fuel and their level of emissions.

FIGURE 2. The chart compares conventional fuel (NOx) with biofuels (PM,CO, HC). The biofuels emit far less emissions. (Biodiesel Vehicle Emissions, Alternative Fuels Data Center)
Biofuels can be greatly utilized in many cars because the process in which they work are the same as conventional fuels. If a biofuel with a percentage of 20% or less, it will work fine with a regular car. The only difference between the pure gasoline or diesel and biofuel is that the biofuel will have a slightly lower fuel economy because of its lower potential energy (Biodiesel - America's first advanced biofuel).
There are different types of biofuels and they are categorized by the things that they are composed of. First generation biofuels are the more conventional fuels composed of grains or fats/oil. Second generation biofuels are more experimental, they are made of non-food based sources. There are two main production methods of these fuels; the biochemical method uses microbes to convert curtain parts of...

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