The fuels derived from agricultural crops and plants are known as biofuels. Bioethanol and biodiesel are the most frequently extracted and used fuels among biofuels. These fuels are generated from inherently renewable resources, which can grow anywhere and they release much less carbon in comparison with fossil fuels.
Biofuels are gaining popularity due to the low cost of production as well as for their eco-friendliness by emitting less pollutants. Although biofuels have many benefits over the other forms of fuels, due to some factors it has disadvantages as well.
Even though the cost of biofuel is the same as that of gasoline in the market, they are cost effective as they are cleaner and adaptable to current engines and make them run in good condition for a longer period. While using biofuels, the engines require the lowest maintenance apart from reducing the pollution check costs. However, the costs of biofuels are likely to come down in the future with increased usage and production.
Easy to Source and Renewable
In contrast to the gasoline which is derived from crude oil reservoirs, the biofuels are generated from diverse sources like wastage of crops, manure and various plants grown for fuel production. Thus, they can be sourced easily compared to the crude oil reservoirs. Since most sources of biofuels like corn, crops waste, manure and corn are renewable and easy to grow, they are not going to be run out soon.
Decrease Greenhouse Gases
According to studies, the production of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be reduced up to 65% by using biofuels. Whereas, the fossil fuels generates large amount of greenhouse gases which are responsible for global warming.
Promise Economic Security and Reduce Dependence on Crude Oil
The crude oil importing countries can shift towards biofuel production instead of buying the heavy priced oil from other countries. Biofuel can be generated from locally grown crops and plants in these countries and this can lessen their dependence on crude oil.
Heavy Production Cost
Although the usage of biofuels has many benefits, the production costs are much higher. When the demand for these fuels increases in the future, the production will not only be more expensive but also a long time process, which restricts its popularity.
Monoculture and Use of Fertilizers
Repeatedly producing the same crop over many years will deprive the soil from its nutrients which are replaced when diverse crops are produced. When crops are produced for biofuels, the usage of fertilizers also will increase and it can cause environment issues as well as water pollution.
Shortage of Food and Industrial Pollution
When more importance is given to the biofuel producing crops, there are chances of lack of space for growing food crops. This may lead to a hike in food prices and a pressure on the current food crops. Although the emission of pollutant gases are less while using biofuels, their production process involves large amount of gas emissions, water pollution and soil erosion to some extent. If more well-organized practices of production are not introduced, the total carbon emission in the production process is really harmful to the environment.
The biofuels including ethanol and biodiesel are indeed more eco-friendly and less pollutant, yet comes with a heavy price like all other good things in life.