Bio-Fuels are capable of replacing fossil fuels. - Seeker's Thoughts

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Bio-Fuels are capable of replacing fossil fuels.

World demand for energy has been projected to double by 2050 and be more than triple by the end of the century since the industrial revolution in the 1850s. The human consumption of fossil fuels has been one of the growing causes of international concern and unease among some industrial nations.

The reason of which can be attributed to the rapidly depleting reserves of fossil fuels. Over the past few decades, with the successes achieved in genetic engineering technology, an advance made in the field of biofuels offer the only immediate to fossil fuels.

What if we ran out of fossil fuels?

Fossil fuels probably won’t run out, at least not in the sense that they will be exhausted. Oil, coal and natural gas were here before us and will be hereafter we’re gone. But that doesn’t mean we can keep using them forever or even into the near future due to climate change, and IPCC's warning to stop using them. 

We have harvested the low-hanging fruit – surface coal and the most accessible oil reserves are already going or gone.

We human depend on fossil fuels, the greater the lengths we’ll go to feed our addiction.  

Are biofuels capable to replace fossil fuels?

Fears that increased energy demand, as well as the need for ecologically acceptable fuels that the world replaces highly polluting fossil fuels, are the main reasons behind many different alternatives energy researchers. One segment of the alternative fuel market that has been recently gaining plenty of popularity are biofuels.

Comparably biofuels with gasoline it can be seen that the gasoline is refined from limited crude oil supplies, while biofuel can be produced from a number of organized sources that are not limited like oil is.

According to some energy experts, biofuels are the only renewable energy sector that is capable to replace currently dominant fossil fuels.

What is biofuel?

A biofuel is any liquid fuel derived from biological material such as a tree, agriculture waste, crops, or grass. Biofuel can be produced from any carbon source that can be replenished rapidly, such as plants.

 Biofuel is used globally and biofuel industries are greatly expanding in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. 

They contain NO sulfur and produce low carbon monoxide and toxic emission. Biofuels are substitutes for conventional fossil fuels, such as petroleum, propane, coal, and natural gas.

Biofuels are grouped by categories- 1G first generation, 2G second generation, 3G third generation

First-generation- 1G biofuels are produced from food crops. For ethanol production, the feedstock includes sugar cane, corn, maize, Etc. For Biodiesel- the feedstock is naturally occurring vegetable oil such as soybean and canola.

Second-generation- 2G biofuels are produced from cellulosic material such as wood, grasses and inedible parts of the plants. This material is more difficult to break down through fermentation and therefore requires proper-treatment before it can be processed.

Third generation- 3G are produced using the lipid production from algae.

 Benefits of biofuels

1-  Energy security is the most constant supply that is available and affordable for                     consumers as well as the industry. Some of the many risks to energy security are                 disrupting the supply of fossil fuels, energy price the hikes and limited sources of fuel.

2-   Increasing the investment in biofuels will result in a boost of growth in the economy. Thus means that there will be more jobs and new a source of income for farmers in the industry. Developing countries will benefit from the economic growth in the demand for world energy.

3- Biofuels can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy security by providing an alternative to fossil fuels. By 2050, biofuels could reduce our greenhouse gas emission by 1.7 billion tons per year – equivalent to more than 80% of current transportation- related emission.

4- The energy balance of fuel is the ratio of how much energy is required to produce, manufacture and distribute to compare to the amount of energy that is released when fuel is burned.

5-   Biofuel is proven to less toxic that diesel as its attribute makes it less likely to harm the environment and cost less damage. Biofuel is found to be less toxic that table salt as it is a natural, non-toxic vegetable oil. Biofuel is also fifteen less toxic than common species of fish. Biofuel is proven to be safer to handle than petroleum fuel due to its low volatility.

World Biofuel Day

Every year on 10th august World Biofuel Day has been observed with the aim to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels.

This year the theme was – ‘Production if Biofuel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO)’

Indian government emphasizing to facilitate the production of biodiesel from used cooking oil, Oil marketing companies shall float an expression of interest for procurement if biodiesel from used cooking oil across 100 cities.

What are the benefits of transformation if used cooking oil?

It will help bring health benefits as there would be no recycling of used cooking oil, infrastructural investment in rural areas, employment generation and cleaner environment with the reduced carbon footprint.

The role of biodiesel is not just to replace fossil fuel but to help form a balanced policy. Biofuels are environment- friendly, and their use would address global concerns about the suppression of carbon emissions.

Indian Government Initiatives to promote the use of Biofuel

Central government recently unveiled a comprehensive biofuels policy, which allows farmers to divert excess crop produce for biofuels production. Government are going to establish second-generation (2G) ethanol refineries.

The national biofuels policy 2018 seeks to expand the range of feedstock available for ethanol production beyond sugar molasses. Sugarcane juice, sugar- containing crops like beet, sorghum, corn and cassava and damaged grains unfit for human consumption, such as rotten potato, wheat and broken rice, cane be considers for ethanol production.

The policy will offer a mechanism to address the mounting municipal solid waste problem in the country by converting it into drop-fuels. The scheme will be in addition to other incentives and higher purchase price available to 2G biofuels as compared 1G biofuels (bioethanol and biodiesel). 

To synergise efforts to improve biofuels production, several Ministers and Department will play a vital role to meet the increasing energy need of the country and provide energy security.

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