Biofuel is dened as solid, liquid or gas fuel derived from recently-dead biological material, whereas fossil fuels are derived from long-dead biological material. Theoretically,biofuels can be produced from any (biological) carbon source; although, the most commonsources are photosynthetic plants. Globally, biofuels are most commonly used to power vehi-cles and cooking stoves. Biofuel industries are expanding in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The main debate regarding biofuels centers around whether they are a good means to reversingglobal climate change and helping replace oil, or at least reduce oil prices. Biofuels have becomeincreasingly attractive in recent years because they offer the possibility of both reducing green-house gas emissions and helping replace oil. This possibility exists primarily in the use of biofuelsin vehicles and other forms of transportation that utilize petroleum products. Biofuels, there-fore, are potentially helpful in so far as they can replace the use of petroleum in transportation.
Biofuels produce less greenhouse gases.
Tradi-tional petroleum-based gasoline and diesel fuelsemit substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. Bio-fuels, by contrast, burn much more cleanly, emit-ting far fewer greenhouse gases from the tail-pipe.Any such reduction in emissions is valuable in theface of global warming, and should be embraced.
Carbon neutral biofuels only emit CO2 theydraw from atmosphere.
Biofuels are less pollut-ing than fossil fuels because CO2 is absorbed inthe process of photosynthesis by the very plantsthat are being used to produce biofuel. Another way to think of this is that, in the cycle of thisprocess, plants are grown which absorb C02from the at-mosphere to photosyn-thesize and grow. When theseplants are converted intobiofu-el and then burned,the C02 that is releasedinto the atmosphere isequiv-alent to the C02that was absorbed by theplant in the process of photosyn-thesis. This means that the amount of C02 re-leased is equivalent to the amount absorbed,
Can biofuels help combat global warming ?
Biofuels production and use may increase green-house gas emissions
. Almost all biofuels usedtoday cause more greenhouse gas emissions thanconventional fuels if the full emissions costs of pro-ducing these “green” fuels are taken into account.Plant-based fuels were originally billed as betterthan fossil fuels because the carbon re-leased when they were burned was bal-anced by the carbon absorbed whenthe plants grew. But even thatequation proved overly sim-plistic because the process of turning plants into fuels causesits own emissions—such as ren-ing and transport.
Developing new land for biofuelscan release green-house gases.
Sepa-rate studies released by Princeton University andthe Nature Conservancy show that ethanol maybe even more dangerous for the environment thanfossil fuels are. As a Princeton study points out,clearing previously untouched land to grow bio-fuel crops releases long-sequestered carbon intothe atmosphere. While planting corn and sugarcane in already tilled land is ne, a problem aris