Pros and Cons of Biofuels


Fossil fuels aren’t going to be around forever. There may be hundreds of years of reserve for certain fuels, but one day that will change if our consumption patterns don’t change. That’s why biofuels are considered a viable alternative. They allow us to replicate what oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuels give us, but this emerging technology does come with a higher price tag. Here are some other pros and cons to consider.

The Pros of Biofuels

1. They can be readily created.
Biofuels can be grown and replicated without any mining or consumption of fossil fuels. Something as simple as grass, soil, and water can be turned into a fuel source. This allows us to have a renewable energy supply.

2. It would reduce carbon emissions.
Carbon dioxide is a known greenhouse gas emitter. By transferring over to biofuels, we would be able to eliminate tons of carbon out of the atmosphere every year. This could help the planet begin to recover from the changes that have taken place since the industrial revolution.

3. It could eventually reduce ownership costs.
Although biofuels average about $0.25 per gallon more than diesel fuel, the long-term maintenance reductions that could be experienced could off-set those costs. This would mean less down time for tune-ups, flushing, and cleaning.

The Cons of Biofuels

1. It may increase nitrogen oxide emissions.
Although carbon emissions are lower with biofuels, there is a change that nitrogen emissions could increase. What that would do to the atmosphere and environment is unknown.

2. It takes land away from the production of crops.
When there are hungry people in the world, there are ethical questions that must be answered about using viable technologies for biofuels instead of food. By 2050, the world population is expected to reach 10 billion. That will require advancements in crop growing or more crop lands to accommodate those who need to eat.

3. Some biofuels are known to freeze.
This is particularly true for biofuels that are based on animal products. Even when they don’t freeze in the fuel tank, there is a chance that they can create crystals which will plug up filters and make an engine impossible to operate.

Biofuels could be one future solution to a potential fossil fuel crisis. It has taken the world’s economies more than 100 years of using fossil fuels to reach the stage it is at today. It will take time to develop alternatives. That’s why considering these pros and cons of biofuels now is an important step to take.