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Bio Paper 1 - Biofuels

Bio Paper 1 - Biofuels

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Published by: Shanan Riot Aftermath on Nov 05, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Current Global Situation for Biofuels as aViable Alternative Fuel Source
By: Shanan RaveendrarajStudent Number: 0964258TA: Matthew HammondTutorial Section 7Oct 17 2011
Biofuels, such as ethanol produced from corn or biofuel from soy, are a class of fuels obtained from the harvesting of large crops of specific plants. This paper will arguethat biofuels are a viable way to reduce our global emissions while at the same timeintroducing many advantages. However, it will also be shown that global interest in biofuels as an alternative fuel source to petroleum must be shown for any difference to be made. The point of this paper is to convince the reader that biofuels offer a wide arrayof advantages over petroleum, and to show the reader that biofuels deserve the supportall countries of the world.A summary of the energy costs and benefits of biofuels vs. conventional petroleum by Jason Hill
et al. ( 
provides the definition of a biofuel as providing``net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive,and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies.`` Under thesecriteria, the study evaluates ethanol and biofuel produced from soybeans. It is shownthat both types of biofuel produce more energy than consumed in their production, withsoybean biofuel producing 93% more energy than consumed (Hill
et al.,
2006). Biofuel,when generally compared against ethanol, releases about 1% of the pollutants whencombusted and produces 41% less greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum combustion(Hill
et al.,
2006). The problem facing biofuels as a viable fuel source is the fact thatthey take a large amount of land to grow, which will affect food supply since the landavailable for food crops will be decreased. In order to consider converting an appropriate
amount of global farmland towards the production of biofuels, there must be globalinvestment in the solution.The necessity for efficient land allocation actually has an upside: the UN tabled adiscussion in 2005 on the possibilities of investment into biofuels, during which planswere discussed to increase the economy of third-world countries by having them grow biofuels for export as well as internal use, thereby raising the world economy by helpingcountries set up an new energy infrastructure (Coelho, 2005). Brazil is already producing biofuels at a steady and significant rate, and is experiencing ever decreasingcosts associated with sustaining future growth (Coelho, 2005). If global interest can beunited behind the quest for sustainability and environmental awareness, great results will be seen. Biofuels can even be produced from waste products from food crops, and if farmers assign a percentage of their land to grow biofuel material, biofuels can be produced worldwide in quantities large enough to drive global emissions downwardssignificantly (Demirbas, 2007).Biofuels produce substantially less harmful emissions than petroleum, and can begrown naturally in a way that benefits the world, offering jobs to millions of peopleworldwide while wrestling power away from the `oil giants`. These arguments should besufficient to convince any reader than biofuels are worth our time, as they can pave theway to a brighter future.

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