Climate change is becoming one of the major concerns nowadays. It constrains the researchers and industrialists to make renewable and cleaner energy resources all around the world. There is a need to switch energy sources towards renewable sources such as biofuel. Researchers are focusing to introduce two main types of biofuel which are ethanol and biodiesel. This effort brings valuable changes in the world’s economy.
The emission of fossil fuels releases certain toxic gases that ultimately harm the atmosphere. Keeping this in mind researchers and industrialists are looking forward to an alternative source of energy such as biofuels. Biofuels are a renewable source of made from organic matter and wastes.
One of the best sources to produce biofuels is plants. The most commonly used feedstocks are food crops, vegetables, and sugar. It can help to improve the world’s requirement of fuel to some extent. But there are some social, economic, environmental, and technical issues relating to the production of biofuels.
Generation of Biofuels
Depending upon the production of biofuels they are classified into 4 generations.
Feedstock in the first-generation biofuel is food crops and vegetables. Two processes are very common. First is extracting the oil from crops and the second process is fermentation. Fermentation is basically for ethanol production. Feedstock involved is sugar, vegetables, and wheat. These are important for bioethanol production. But there is a lot of debate on the benefits of first-generation biofuels. As the emission of carbon is more than use in the feedstock. Which means it gives a Net negative energy gain. But the major concern, in this case, is food. The use of food for fuel production ultimately increases the food prices in the global market. An increase in food prices weaken the world’s economy.
Advanced biofuel is another term used for second-generation biofuels. The introduction of second-generation biofuel brings improvements in first-generation biofuels. In this, the feedstock used is non-food crops. Which include wood, organic wastes. It sells at a low price as compared to fossil fuels. There are many advantages to the production of second-generation biofuels. Such as there is no need for additional fertilizers, water, and arable land to grow the feedstock.
Third-generation biofuel involves engineered crops. This engineered crop is termed as algae. Production of biofuel from algae plays a landmark in the history of biofuel production. This is because culturing algae is cost-effective, containing a high source of energy and a renewable source. There are many benefits of using algae for the production of biofuel. Algae is best for the production of a variety of fuels at low prices. It includes diesel, petrol, and jet fuel.
The production of fourth-generation biofuel very useful reduces pollution from the environment. Its purpose is not only the production of energy but to store and capture co2. This generation is different from previous generations. This generation captures carbon dioxide by oxy-fuel combustion during the production of fuel. Then transport this co2 in the pipelines and store it. This process reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Ultimately decreasing global climate change thus replacing fossil fuels.
Reasons behind the environment friendly:
Different companies are trying to switch their energy sources to biofuels due to the following reasons.
- Biofuels decrease carbon dioxide emission thus focusing to limit the use of fossil fuels.
- Production of biofuels maintains a stability level between the emission of carbon dioxide and crop regrowth.
- Biofuels such as biodiesel are adaptable with the internal machine mechanism of most cars.
- Biodiesel provides a benefit of lubricating and slowly decreasing the temperature of the internal combustion engine.
- It also decreases the increasing risks of environmental disasters.
There are also some drawbacks regarding biofuels, but in the future, we need to switch towards renewable energy sources. For these, methods for biofuel production need to be modified.