Will biofuels replace fossil fuels?

Asked by: Prof. Granville Kuhic II
Score: 5/5 (63 votes)

Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels—fuels produced from renewable organic material—has the potential to reduce some undesirable aspects of fossil fuel production and use, including conventional and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutant emissions, exhaustible resource depletion, and dependence on unstable foreign suppliers.

View full answer

Also asked, Are biofuels better alternative to fossil fuels?

From an environmental point of view, the answer is Yes, Biofuels are indeed better than fossil fuels. All biofuels (only hydrocarbons considered here) generate CO2 upon combustion and could therefore be classified as generating greenhouse gas and contributing to global warming similarly to fossil fuels.

Likewise, What fossil fuel does biodiesel replace?. Nearly all biofuel systems (mainly biodiesel and bioethanol) produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels (diesel and petrol derived from fossil oil).

Similarly, Can biofuel replace oil?

To be a viable alternative for petroleum, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, offer clear environmental and economic benefits, and not reduce food supplies and/or increase their costs.

Why should we use biofuels instead of fossil fuels?

Plant-based fuels come from renewable sources, can be grown anywhere and have lower carbon emissions as compared to fossil fuels. Biofuels not only help a struggling economy by providing jobs but also helps in reducing greenhouse gases up to much extent by emitting less pollution.

18 related questions found

Why are biofuels bad?

"Biofuels made from palm oil, rapeseed, and other food crops are destroying forests, pushing people off their land, and could fuel the next spike in food prices," said Marc-Olivier Herman, a campaigner with Oxfam. "Biofuels made from food crops are not the answer to climate change; they are part of the problem."

Are biofuels worth it?

Food-based biofuels aren't helping very much. These biofuels offer at best modest GHG reductions compared to gasoline and diesel. At worst, they pollute even more than petroleum. ... Evidence suggests that cellulosic biofuel from energy crops has much lower land use change emissions than food-based biofuels.

What are the advantages of biofuel?

Biofuels help reduce the carbon footprint of transportation and other industries, by making the most of our planet's carbon cycle. Every gallon of biofuel that replaces a gallon of fossil fuel helps reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Why biodiesel is not widely used?

Biodiesel can also be used to blend petroleum-based diesel or can even be used as a 100 percent pure fuel. However, even for biodiesel, supply is the main issue as is cost. ... This led to the raw material cost becoming fairly expensive, making biodiesel even more expensive than petroleum based diesel.

Does biodiesel damage your engine?

The impact of poor-quality biodiesel will probably not be immediately noticeable in the operation of your engine, but over time deposits, corrosion, and damage can accumulate until your engine catastrophically fails.

Is diesel a biofuel?

Biofuels are transportation fuels such as ethanol and biomass-based diesel fuel that are made from biomass materials. These fuels are usually blended with petroleum fuels (gasoline and distillate/diesel fuel and heating oil), but they can also be used on their own.

What can replace biofuels?

  • Hydrogen. Hydrogen is a potentially emissions- free alternative fuel that can be produced from domestic resources for use in fuel cell vehicles.
  • Natural Gas. Natural gas is a domestically abundant gaseous fuel that can have significant fuel cost advantages over gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • Propane.

What is the best alternative to fossil fuels?

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), nuclear power is the most effective substitute to challenge fossil fuels for future energy consumption. Compared to coal, gas, oil, and ethanol, nuclear power produces almost negligible adverse climate effects.

Why biofuels are not sustainable?

This blog post was originally published in The Guardian on January 29, 2015. It uses land needed for food production and carbon storage, it requires large areas to generate just a small amount of fuel, and it won't typically cut greenhouse gas emissions. ...

Is biofuel better than electric?

Findings show that turning biomass into electricity is more beneficial than turning it into transportation fuels. A study published today in Science concludes that, on average, using biomass to produce electricity is 80 percent more efficient than transforming the biomass into biofuel.

Does biofuel Have a Future?

Fuels such as biodiesel made from rapeseed oil or ethanol made from corn were once viewed as the apex of future low-carbon transport. In 2011, the International Energy Agency forecast that biofuels could make up 27 percent of global transportation fuels by 2050. ... Transport fuels have a 14 percent target to hit by 2030.

What are the disadvantages of fossil fuels?

The disadvantages of fossil fuels are:
  • The burning of coal and petroleum produces a lot of pollutants, causing air pollution.
  • Fossil fuels release oxides of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, etc., that cause acid rain, affecting soil fertility and potable water.

Do biofuels contribute to global warming?

A recent study by Paul Crutzen suggests that the production of biofuel from rapeseed causes 70% more greenhouse gas emissions than those that would be caused by fossil fuels.

Are Biofuels bad for the environment?

According to these researchers, production of biofuel actually contributes to global warming, doing more harm than good. ... It goes into the air as carbon dioxide and contributes to global warming." "Any biofuel that causes the clearing of natural ecosystems will increase global warming," he continued.

Are biofuels profitable?

The profitability of biodiesel production is extremely variable. Due to the volatile price nature of biodiesel and soybean oil, its major feedstock, biodiesel profitability can change rapidly from month to month.

What is the best biofuel?

Six of the best biofuels
  • Sugar cane. Sugar can provide high-energy fuel for machines as well as people. ...
  • Palm oil. This is extracted from the fruit of the oil palm tree, which is cultivated in south-east Asia, South America and Africa. ...
  • Oilseed rape. ...
  • Wood. ...
  • Soybeans. ...
  • Algae.

Is biofuel more expensive than fossil fuels?

For individual consumers, biofuels can be more or less expensive than fossil fuels depending on how they are used.

Do biofuels produce more energy than fossil fuels?

Biodiesel provides 93% more usable energy than the fossil energy needed for its production, reduces GHGs by 41% compared with diesel, reduces several major air pollutants, and has minimal impact on human and environmental health through N, P, and pesticide release.