Before talking about biofuels, you need to know the basics from where it is created from. Biofuels are produced from biomass, which is derived from living or recently living plant matter such as trees, grasses, agricultural residue, algae, and other biological material. “Biofuel is considered carbon neutral”, which absorbs roughly the same amount of carbon dioxide during growth as when it is burnt (Rutherford, 2009). Biofuels is much cleaner than petrol/diesel because of the considerable impact petrol/diesel has on the environment from the high fuel emissions. Biofuels will help decrease dependence on fossil fuels such as oil, gas, petrol, and coal. This paper will discuss the many crops that biofuels derive from, the various types of biofuels, and the advantages (Pros) and disadvantages (Cons) of biofuels. These biofuels will reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil, improve our air quality, and support rural economies.
Pros and Cons of Biofuels
The primary principle of how biofuels work is through the process of photosynthesis, which is how plants capture and store the sun’s energy. The energy stored in the plants is converted to many types of biofuels through a process called biocatalysis. Biofuels are developed through agricultural crops. There are two factors why agricultural crops are the main reason biofuels are developing: plants are easy to grow and are a key form of a renewable resource. There are many crops that biofuels are specifically grown and produced from. Here is a list of the top ten agricultural crops and a description of each.
Turning sugar-rich corn into ethanol is like a brewery. They first grind the kernels and mix them with warm water. Then they add yeast to cause it to ferment, which turns the corn into energy producing alcohol called ethanol. Next, the ethanol goes to refineries to blend with gasoline which is in use today. About twenty percent of each gallon of corn ethanol is “new energy. Roughly ninety percent of America’s ethanol comes from corn (Perritano, 2011).
Rapeseed oil comes from canola which is a type of rapeseed. Rapeseed oil has been used to cook food and illuminate homes. Canola and rapeseed oil can generate more energy when burned because of the higher oil content and low saturated fat than most vegetable oils. The oil content of canola is forty percent (Perritano, 2011).
Sugarcane is primarily grown in South America Brazil. Brazil’s climate is best suited for the growth of sugarcane. Brazil started going “green” and weaned itself from oil in the early 1970’s when the Middle East reduced shipments of oil worldwide. Sugarcane is easier and less expensive to produce ethanol than corn.
7) Palm Oil
Palm tree plantations are primarily grown in Malaysia and Indonesia. Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of palm trees. Palm oil is one of the more energy efficient biodiesel fuels that release less...