Advantages And Disadvantages of Biofuels

Advantages of Biofuels

1. Eco-Friendly

Biofuels are an eco-friendly source of energy. These are derived from the plant-based raw material such as corn, sugarcane, algae, seed oils, and animals waste materials. Plant-based fuels do not cause any harm like fossil fuels, which release very harmful gases (e.g. GHGs) in the air. Biofuels produce very less or no amount of Greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere.

2. Cost-Effective

The land for growing crops, machinery for processing and conversion of plant material into biofuels is already available with us. This makesbiofuels cheaper than other sources of energy, that is,fossil fuels which requires very costly mining processes. Petrol and diesel are main sources of energy in the transport sector. But the cost of petrol is increasing day by day due to its limited availability and high demand in the transport sector. So biofuels (e.g. bioethanol and biodiesel) are a good alternative and economical source of energy.

3. Fast Production

The fossil fuels required millions of years for their synthesis.On the other hand, the time required for the production of biofuels is very less. The process of converting plant material into biofuels is very simple and fast.

4. Renewable Source of Energy

Biofuels are derived from plant sources, their availability is unlimited. We can grow required crops used for the production of biofuel annually.Biofuels are also derived from animal and human waste which are a great source of energy. These all sources are never going to exhaust which makes them a renewable source of energy.

Disadvantages of Biofuels

1. Soil Erosion

The quality of the soil is a very important aspect of agriculture. Thecultivation of the same crop on the same land (aka monocropping) forbiofuels decreasesthequality of the soil. This also decreases the nutrient content in the soil and increases the dependency on fertilizers for further production of cropswhich ultimately leads to the soil erosion.

2. Use of Fossil Fuels

The raw material for the production of biofuels is based on plants but the machinery used for their further processing requires fossil fuels. These fossil fuelscause emission of harmful gases into the atmosphere.

3. Use of Fertilizers

Many fertilizersare used to enhance the production of crops used to make biofuels and it results in the degradation of land. The fertilizers also release various harmful gases into the atmosphere.

4. Imbalance in Food Economy

Some crops used for the production of biofuels like corn, sugarcane are sources of food for human beings. The use of food crops in the production of biofuels may cause a shortage of food and leads to famine. The cultivation of biofuel producing crops instead of food crops also results in lack of food availability in that particular land area.

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