If you are concerned about the constantly rising price of gas, but still want to use products that are all natural to power your car, and all the other appliances that you use, you will definitely want to learn more about biofuels. You can find many of these green fuels in the products that you use every day, and many of these solutions are affordable.
What Are Biofuels
Biofuels are defined as a solid, liquid, or gas fuel that is made from biological materials that have recently died. This makes them different from fossil fuels, which are produced from biological animals and plants that have died years ago.
The most common source of biofuels are photosynthetic plants, and all over the world, these fuels are used to power stoves and some vehicles. This industry is starting to grow tremendously in Europe and Asia, and parts of the Americas are following this trend as well.
Biofuels Research and Production
There are three main ways to produce biofuels.
First generation biofuels are produced from crops that have high sugar or oil content, such as sweet sorghum, sugar cane and soybeans. Cornstarch is also used to create this fuel, and after these crops have grown, yeast fermentation will produce ethyl alcohol, or ethanol. The use of corn and wheat for biofuel production is controversial since it is very energy intensive to grow and also removes huge quantities from the food supply chain.
Second generation bio-fuels are made from non edible cellulosic plant materials or Biomass such as grass, leaves and non edible parts of crops. Biomass can also include animal materials. Second generation biofuels have several advantages over first generation methods in as much that they are produced from byproducts of the actual main crop harvest which would otherwise become waste. The feed-stock can also be grown on non arable land that, in many cases, does not need watering or fertilizing. Other second generation biofuel sources include waste vegetable oil and municipal solid waste
Third generation biofuels are produced using algae that has a natural high oil content. It has the advantage of being able to be cultivated using land and water that is unsuitable for food production. In addition, algae can be manufactured into a wide range of fuels such as diesel, petrol and aviation fuel.
Biofuels have been the center of a number of worldwide economic debates, such as the issue of carbon emissions levels in the air, and the food versus fuel debate. The impact that biofuels have on water resources is also a topic of discussion with country officials and farmers, since the materials needed to make these fuels are completely natural. Scientists and economists are also looking for ways to make sure that soil erosion is reduced while biofuel is being created, and of course, the cost of oil prices is a consideration as well.