As the term suggests, bio-fuels are fuels that are formed when biological matter decomposes. The bio-fuels are mostly derived from plants. Bio fuels are available as any of the three states of matter, in the form of a solid, liquid of gas.
The difference between fossil fuels and bio fuels
Fossil fuels and bio fuels are different in these ways:
• The time that it takes to make biofuels, a few days, when compared to the million years that fossil fuels take is amazingly fast. • Fossil fuels generate huge amounts of pollution. In comparing the two bio fuels are safer. • Unlike fossil fuels, bio fuels are a renewable source of energy.
There are four different types of biofuel
First generation, second generation, third generation, and fourth generation are the four categorys of biofuel.
Vegetable fats, starch, and sugar are derived from food crops and are used in the making of first generation biofuels. The first generation fuels are also derived from animal fats. Some examples of this type of bio fuel are bio diesel, biogas, and vegetable oil.
Second generation bio fuels are mainly made from waste biomass making them a more economically balanced option than first generation bio fuels. Bio fuels produced from wood, such as different kind of alcohols and diesel are a form of second generation biofuels.
The third generation comprises of bio-fuels derived from algae. Creating these bio fuels requires large scale algae farming. Algae fuels do not harm the soil as they decompose and as such are very friendly towards the environment.
Biofuels derived from micro-organisms that are raised to work with carbon dioxide to create fuel are fourth generation.
Advantages of bio-fuels
Biofuel are advantageous in these ways:
• Fossil fuels are gradually running out, biofuels help take up some of the slack of this finite resource. • Biofuels help protect the environment. Bio fuels help the atmosphere by reducing carbon emissions. • Bio-fuels, especially, bio-diesel prove to be very cost-effective for consumers.
There is some criticism of bio fuels. Bio fuels have some problems from a environmental standing, even though they are helpful. Some of the reasons that biofuels have come under criticism are listed below:
• Economists have long debated on the usefulness of first generation bio-fuels when compared to the lack of food they cause. Generating fuel from food crops makes food crops unworthy of human consumption. Some people believe that being a higher priority than fuel, food should not be farmed for making fuels but for human consumption. • Native habitat is destroyed to make room for the farmland required for making biofuel.