what you need to know about biofuel

Biofuel is the energy-producing fuel that is made through the process of biocarbon fixation. Biofuel is hydrocarbon that is obtained from a living organism. 

What is biofuel?

Biofuel is designed to work as an alternative fuel to gasoline, fossil fuel and diesel. While fossil fuel is made from animals and plants that died over centuries ago, biofuel is made from plants that have been harvested. It is important to understand that biofuels are also able to be produced in labs as they don’t need to come from a living organism. It is essential that the primary material is CO2 fixed and is transformed into a different molecule. 

Essentially, biofuel is a hydrocarbon fuel that is created from organic material. It is also forced for a short period of time as opposite to non-hydrocarbon fuel like nuclear or fossil. Biofuel is also formed during a period of days, weeks, and months. 

What is biofuel made from? 

Biofuels are made from biomass, an organic matter. This means that any dead form of matter comes from living organisms such as algae mats, corn kernels, soybeans, coffee beans, cellulosic parts of plants, and jatropha. 

While biofuel comes from a reusable source, it doesn’t mean they are green or necessarily environmentally friendly. 

What are the uses of biofuel? 

Biofuel can be used to power up any mechanism that would run on the conventional type of fuels. This will cover as much as 15% of the market with a total global amount of 1 billion gallons of biofuel. 

Advantages of Biofuel 

Bio and Fossil fuel are used, depending on the cost and available of the supply. While fossil fuel is relatively expensive due to the extraction process of fossils, biofuel is relatively cheaper as it is economically friendly to produce the biomass. 

Disadvantages of Biofuel 

Biofuel is renewable. However, it is not limitless. Many believed that biofuel would run on an unlimited supply. Currently, there is no method to producing biomass at a specified pace that will keep up with the world’s constant need of energy. 

Biofuel is strongly linked to the growing biomass that takes up the limited land available for food farming. This may affect the costs of food and biofuel. However, fossil fuel extraction will increase the levels of acid rain. 

Cost of Biofuel 

The cost of biofuel is easy to determine as it is connected with in with food resources. While biofuel receives less funding from the government, the United States is still the 2nd largest ethanol producer around the globe. At a worldwide level, biofuel is still considered as the most economically friendly alternative to fossil fuel for the future. 

Debates with Biofuel 

With the debate of “food vs. fuel”, the short term versus the long effects of farmland use are highly ascertain. Due to the given factors that play a role in pricing, the government argues that biofuel is sustainable. 

Another debate with biofuel is the effects it may have on poverty in most developing countries. While many may argue that many developing countries import the goods like oil, biofuel would help to create jobs and stabilise employment. 

Pollution and biofuel 

In reality, biofuel produces carbon dioxide, which is among the most potent greenhouse gases. It is also true that the plants that create biomass consume an uncontrolled amount of the carbon dioxides. The biofuel consumption can have a balance to a 0% net increase, making their contribution less relevant to the changes of climate. 

In fact, according to research, the ethanol that roots from corn can consume more energy than it creates. Burning biofuel will be much safer than fossil fuel. 

Impact of biofuel on the environment 

The environmental impact of distinct biofuel is not made equal. They were created regarding greenhouse gas emissions rather than how each impact on food, soil, land, water, and biodiversity. 


Biomass crops can lead to massive clean out of mature trees. The great phenomenon can cause the erosion of soil to reduce. 


Biofuel production can affect the global water supply by irrigating feedstock crops. By increasing biofuel production, the crops will take a toll on freshwater resources and require as much as 25% of water. 


While biomass is more efficient to producing energy, the mono-crops will lead to an increase in the pest population. 


Biofuel production requires chemical reactions that can be used to break down the present of methanol. While this method is used to produce biofuel, biofuel will ultimately come from living organisms that were once plants instead of animals. 

Infographic by: visual.ly

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