The Pros and Cons of Biofuels



As the people are becoming more environmental conscious, because of seeing the impact of Global warming, people had started giving importance to the Biofuels, which are environment friendly.

Biomass can be produced from liquid or gaseous fuels. The special feature of these fuels is that they are based on renewable raw materials. Typical plants used for biofuel production, are as grain, scrap wood or sugar beet.

Biofuels can be used in many areas where internal combustion engines do their job. Either in pure form or blended with fossil fuels. Biofuels are in liquid or gaseous form. They are divided into three generations. In the first generation, it was only possible to use a small part of a plant for fuel production. In the second generation plant is processed almost complete. And when algae are used, it is called the biomass of the third generation.

The Pros and Cons of the Biofuels are listed here:




Fuels made from vegetable oil and so-called biodiesel are produced mainly on the ground rapeseed plants, oil palm and coconut trees. A big advantage with this type of extraction is the high yield of oil, which can be up to 99 percent.

The basic foods are getting more expensive as more arable land is used for renewable resources. This comes about because this is currently more in demand and thus you can make more profit.

Ethanol, is produced by fermentation of sugary and starchy plant parts. The most common are sugar cane and sugar beet, whereas the former has a much better energy balance than the later.

The use of still inefficient extraction methods, which cannot work efficiently, even in larger productions, like of South America.

Biogas or bio methane can be produced from a variety of different biomasses, except woody parts of plants. One advantage is its compatibility with natural gas, so it comes as quite a replacement for fossil gas in this question.

In biogas plants, its state and the bacterial concentration of the biomass must be continuously monitored because it can work efficiently only under certain conditions.

BTL fuels (biomass to liquid) belong to the group of synthetic fuels and can be produced from various organic materials.

Since this can only be produced via a complex thermo chemical process, the production of these fuels is not yet economical and is still in the development stage.

Considering the energy balances of the various fuels, thus proves the utilization especially of bioethanol, biogas and BTL diesel particularly well.

The high energy and costly chemicals are necessary for extraction.

These fuels have, however, largely CO2-neutral and so can reduce the climate contributions. According to current knowledge, they have the potential to contribute to the replacement of fossil fuels in the transport sector.

In the production of bio fuels in general, is often seen to be a food dependent. In addition, in some renewable fuels a bad energy balance of production and a poor crop yield of the raw materials also affects its production.

 Is non-toxic, biodegradable and is virtually no risk to the drinking water system.

The global demand for energy is not covered so far.

 Biodiesel not classified as one among dangerous goods, which simplifies handling, transportation and storage.

It requires large growing areas and the soils are leached out after some time, just monoculture. With all the starving in countries like Africa, it is rather to be seen as bad.

Biofuels are excellent fuel with high lubrication and good ignition quality. It prevents the wear on the engine.

Another problem of mixing bioethanol with other tradition fuels is the cold start problem may occur with newer vehicles.

Active environmental protection: Biodiesel contains no sulfur (0.0015%) and in the biodiesel, the emissions of soot, CO, and other harmful substances are reduced significantly.

A major problem for the environment is water pollution by pesticides, since the raw materials are injected even more intense, as it should provide a high stand density and a high yield. Thus, the water is more polluted than previously.

Biofuels are used in the summer months without additives – in contrast to petroleum diesel.

The station network is not very widespread. Currently, there are very few gas stations sell bio-ethanol as a fuel.

Biofuels have positive energy balance: A litre of biodiesel contains approximately three times as much energy as is consumed in its production.

It includes many additional costs associated with its production which the consumer is not likely to agree to pay as the prices of normal fuels are already high.

Although an important advantage is the no more CO2 produced during the combustion, but in the production of bioethanol, the machines work the field and harvest the raw materials, formed by the exhaust gases CO2, this is what was saved in the end but again blown into the air. As a result, the environment is still hurt and if we someone assumes this a solution for global warming, then it is not effective.


Thus we can conclude that the production of bioethanol can have many advantages but also many disadvantages in hindsight. Particularly on the environment and on the living conditions in water threatened and poorer countries. You can look at it from two different angles this course.

Furthermore, people are going to discuss for a very long time about whether it makes sense to continue to produce bioethanol.


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Sourabh Thawait is Author at

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