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Biofuel Definition

A crop of corn that could be used for making biofuel.

Biofuel

Fuel produced from living matter, commonly used as an alternative, cleaner fuel source. (noun)

Additional Information On Biofuel

Biofuel is a product produced from biomass. As the biofuel definition above suggests, this fuel is considered much cleaner than petrol/diesel alternatives.

Biofuel is considered carbon neutral, as the biomass absorbs roughly the same amount of carbon dioxide during growth, as when burnt.

Biofuel isn’t as innocent as it seems, as in many cases, large areas of forest are cut down to make space for the plantation of biofuel suitable crops. This deforestation not only harms the carbon cycle but also harms surrounding civilizations/tribes who live off the forest.

Many environmentalists argue that biofuel is a disaster in the making, and doesn’t offer a significant long-term environmental impact.

Some biofuels currently in use are:

  • Biobutanol
  • Biodiesel
  • Bioethanol
  • Biogas
  • Vegetable Oil

The use of biofuels can help to reduce the costs associated with the purchasing of mainstream fuels such as petrol and diesel.

It could be argued that biofuel is a product of solar energy, as the sun is needed to grow the biomass crops, which can then be manufactured into usable fuel.

Biofuel sounds like a modern-day invention, however, we have used this type of fuel since the discovery of fire. Firewood can be classed as a biofuel, as wood is a biomass product, which can be burnt to released energy in the form of heat.

The types of biofuels mentioned above (Biodiesel, Biogas etc.) relate to the modern day uses of biomass as a fuel energy source.

To provide biofuel for every car, truck, bus, plane, boat, and factory across the globe would require a colossal amount of space to be used for the plantation of renewable biomass crops. This would result in the deforestation as a direct result of biomass plantation becoming out of hand.

We need to be looking into alternative methods for powering vehicles and machinery to reduce the future impacts that biofuel usage may pose on the environment. Electric cars powered from the electricity generated by renewable energy sources would be the best option, however, implementing this on a global scale will be a very challenging task.

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