BioFuels

Economic & Environmental Affects

An Impending Problem

     Roughly 800,000 years ago, early Human life began to harness the element of fire, which quickly became a necessity to survival. Ever since then, as humanity progressed, so did the use of fuels. This is where the problems began, for only too late was it realized, that these fuels are not exactly as ‘ideal’ as assumed. In 1827, the French scientist; Jean-Baptiste Fourier, was the first to touch upon the topic of the greenhouse-gas effect, but he did not think much of it. Ironically, this exact concept is what modern scientists consider as the Earth’s ‘Achilles Heel’. Fossil Fuels result in Greenhouse-gasses, which are causing Global Warming. Global warming is destined to literally tear our planet apart, one tectonic at a time.                                                                                                                                                                Gradually, realization of this corruption of the Earth is dawning.  One-by-one, hands are adjoining to create change, simply in the form of wind, waves, sun light, the Earth’s internal heat, and even plants. Together, determination is born to revive the Earth, and Biofuels are being used as a stepping stone.Biofuels are fuels generated from biomass. Generally speaking, Biofuels come in 2 forms: Bioethanol & Biodiesel.   Typically, Biofuels are made of corn, but technology is being developed to use other types of plants as fuel. Biofuels are disputed upon, as many people are skeptic about the topic, but reflecting upon history, biofuels; peanut oil especially, were once used as a source of gas in early diesel engines. 

Economics & Biofuels

          Biofuels are mainly being used as a means of replacing Gasoline and Diesel that are used in transportational vehicles. This plan is actually very obtainable, as Biofuels are renewable and, theoretically, will not come to a shortage anytime in the near future. They can be grown domestically, reducing the reliance on questionable foreign sources. If more people begin to use these fuels and neglect Fossil-Fuels, Fossil-Fuels will decrease in price, benefitting nation-wide consumers. Though if Biofuels start to be commonly exerted, that would also mean less food in the market, higher prices of the food, and ultimately, malnutrition. But in order to grow Biofuels, land devoted for that particular purpose would be needed, along with proper equipment to cultivate the land, customary soil reinforcements, large amounts of water; which could lead to water shortage, and constant monitoring, which would, in all, be most costly and time consuming, but at the same time, it would create plenty of job opportunities.

Regardless, the production of Biofuels rests solely in the hands of the environment itself.

Environment & Biofuels

         Biofuels are mainly made of corn, canola, and sugarcanes. Scientists say, that since plants absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, crops grown for Biofuels should suck up about as much carbon dioxide as comes out of the tailpipes of cars that burn these fuels. That may sound very eco-friendly, but in reality, the process of growing these plants consumes so much energy, it has been said that Carbon emissions resulting from biofuel production and use, might even exceed those generated by fossil fuels in some circumstances. Also, to grow the crops, land cultivation would be needed, and that not only creates habitat loss, but also releases even more green-house gasses into the air due to the equipment running on Fossil-Fuels. Thanks to the heavy equipment and the amount of crop fields required, along with water, our air could also suffer from contamination if Biofuel production increases at a rapid pace. Moreover, some may argue, that there are many people in the world who go to sleep hungry every night, and that wasting precious food as a means of fuel seems like a cruel joke, and that may be true, but as we progress, we are trying to generate Biofuels from the ‘unwanted’ portions of plants, putting us 1 step closer in the direction in ending world hunger.
         Although the ‘Cons’ of Biofuels currently outweigh the ‘Pros’, scientists continue to develop ‘Cellulosic Biomass’, that is going to be much greener, and less wasteful then the Biofuels already in existence. Biofuels are to be a large portion in reviving our Earth.                    

Irda Zahra: 7B3