For a country to realize social or economic growth, several inputs are very paramount. Energy is one of them. A country that relies on renewable sources of energy is at an advantage over one that purely relies on ancient power generation technologies.
In a race for growth and development on all fronts, many countries have recorded an increased fuel consumption.
Biofuels versus Fossil Fuels
To power the development activities, a country can choose to either use biofuels or fossil fuels or both.
Biofuel can be defined as a type of energy whose source is plant and animal materials. This fuel can be derived from common agricultural plants or special crops. Today, biofuel manufacturing companies are using new technologies to extract biofuels from wood and some waste materials.
Ethanol is an example of a biofuel which is made from sugarcane or corn. Biofuels are the outcome of biological carbon fixation. On the other hand, fossil fuels also known as mineral fuels are primary coal, natural gas and any other fuel that normally forms from the remains of plants and animals.
Fossil fuels take thousands or millions of years to form. This is known as a fixation period. For biofuels, the process can take months or a few years for fixation to occur. The very long period taken by fossil fuels to develop makes it a very scarce commodity.
In their composition, fossil fuels are purely made of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Biofuels are a combination of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
The Future of Fuel Is Biofuel
As seen above, the fixation or formation of fossil fuels takes many years. Because of this, the amount of fossil fuel that is available for consumption is normally very low. Noting that power is very essential for the growth of economies, there is the need to find a reliable alternative source of fuel. Biofuel is a good substitute and I will be telling you why.
Reasons Why Biofuels Are a Suitable Substitute for Fossil Fuels
While fossil fuels depend on natural processes to form, biofuels can be produced from industries. This means that they can be produced according to need while the fossil fuels cannot, they have to await the naturally occurring geological processes.
Many sources of fossil fuels such as coal are not renewable. Biofuels are sourced from highly renewable living matter.
Obtaining fossil fuels involves rigorous methods such as drilling which are often unsafe. Biofuels are produced industrially and using safer methods.
Biofuels have a variety of end products. In addition to taking a shorter time to form, biofuel manufacturing gives three end products which can either be in the form of solid, liquid or gas.
Types of Biofuels
There are two main types of biofuels namely ethanol and biodiesel.
Many know ethanol as alcohol. It is produced by fermenting biomass that is rich in carbohydrates. It’s the same ingredient found in beer and wine. In motor vehicle fuels, ethanol is used as an additive that helps cut down carbon monoxide and other smoggy emissions.
This is mainly made from oily plants through a procedure known as trans-esterification. Biodiesel has been largely accepted as a great fuel mixture aimed at reducing unfavourable gas emissions.
Emerging Trends in Biofuel
There is increased use of biofuels across the world. They are being added onto more petroleum products to help reduce toxic emissions. This has increased the demand for biodiesel and biofuel manufacturing companies are now producing over 1 million gallons of biodiesel each year.
Ethanol production stands at approximately 22 billion gallons per year.
The benefits of using biofuel over fossil fuel include lower emissions, biodegradability, and general safety. Fossil fuel has many drawbacks including the fact that it is limited in supply.
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Because it is produced from biomass, biofuel is renewable, unlike fossil fuels whose renewability depends on the resources that were used.