Why Biofuels Are A Sustainable Solution
As people have started looking towards alternative energy sources, bio-fuels have often come up as a solution.† So what exactly are bio-fuels? How do they differ from fossil fuels? How are they produced? And are they a sustainable solution to the world's energy crisis?
As the name implies, biofuels are fuels derived from organic material. Since they can be made in many ways, they are classified as 1st generation, 2nd generation, and 3rd generation.
First generation bio-fuels are the more common fuels that are produced from food crops and animal fats. Some examples include bio-diesel, vegetable oil, and bio-gas.
Second generation bio-fuels are made from waste biomass, making them a more sustainable solution as compared to their 1st gen counterparts. They include various alcohols (such as ethanol) and diesel derived from wood and even human excrement.
Third generation bio-fuels are generally made from algae that are farmed on a massive scale.† By way of photosynthesis and the breaking down of carbon dioxide, the carbohydrates extracted from these micro-organisms is used to make various fuels.
So what separates bio-fuels from fossil fuels?
Bio-fuels differ from fossil fuels in the following ways:
This leads us on to the advantages of bio-fuels:
Like any new technology, of course there are disadvantages
Although they are environmentally friendly, bio-fuels have been ironically criticized by the environmental community, for the reasons given below:
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim McDonald and his wife have been living off the grid since June 2008. If you want to learn more about DIY Renewable Energy and save thousands on your electricity bills, then be sure to Get the Earth4Energy Sneak Peek, before you go out and start any renewable energy project.