Ever wondered why the prices of many utilities are on a constant rise despite being present in a high volume. One of the main reasons why this happens is that our resources are depleting quickly and that leads to an increment in their prices. There are other concerns regarding the usage of these resources such as the external costs borne by the environment and third-party users due to this.
A thermal power generation system is quite expensive to maintain as well as brings damage to the ozone layer as well. We have also seen dams to prove as incapable of producing electricity in the most efficient way possible because of being landfilled. The world needs to realize that one of the ways in which we can overcome the energy crisis is to shift to sources like biofuels which are completely organic and can be used as a full-scale alternative to energy needs.
What are Biofuels?
Biofuel can be defined as the fuel which is derived from the biological waste and biomass of any living being. Biomass could comprise animal waste, dead plants, algae materials, and even human waste. Biomass can be chemically altered through different ways to extrapolate useful minerals and energy creating matter which then becomes a major source of power.
In some cases, biomass does not need to be converted into biofuel through a chemical procedure rather the mass itself is utilized as the biofuel. For example, cow manure is itself biomass which is used as a fuel for burning purposes, mosquito repellant, and other purposes as well. Biofuels have become an important phenomenon in the 21st century for their usefulness in the industrial sector as well as households on a larger scale.
There are two types of biofuels that are being used in greater quantities Bioethanol is one of them which is made out of alcohol. This biofuel is made out of different types of plants and grasses such as corn, sugar cane, and other starch crops. Coming cellulosic biomass, this kind of biofuel is mainly developed as a stock for ethanol production. Ethanol can be used in cars as a fuel as well as it can be used as an additive to improve the octane of cars and thereby aiding the performance. Being environmentally friendly, it reduces all kinds of vehicle emissions as well.
The second important biofuel is biodiesel which is made out of oils and fats. Just like bioethanol, it can be used as a fuel for cars, but it should be in its pure form. Commonly, it is used all over the United States as an additive to diesel cars so as to reduce the level of harmful chemicals in diesel such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.
Are Fossil Fuels Biofuel?
To an extent, we can agree that fossil fuels are biomass since fossil fuels are also generated from the same sources where we extract biofuel from (humans, plants, and animals). However, the statement would not be completely true. This is because unlike biofuels, fossil fuels are formed over a long period. It is a very slow geological process that creates these fuels that are then extracted and used by humans.
However, biofuels are readily available because biomass is present at the moment and does not require a long time to be converted into useful energy. Therefore, it would be right to deduce that fossil fuels and biofuels are two different things although both of them are sourced from the same elements.
Why Do You Need to Know About Biofuels?
We can’t emphasize enough how the world is undergoing a major resource and energy crisis. By 2050, a major chunk of resources of the earth would be depleted which will not only add more to the price of remaining sources but there might be a shortage too. If we talk about the cheapest source of producing energy, it would be biomass for the fact that there is no major cost in attaining them. As mentioned above, one of the most used and simple sources is cow manure.
There are several other benefits of using biofuel. For example, there is no major impact of using biofuels on the case of global warming. With further research and development on bioenergy, the petroleum and gasoline we use in our cars at the moment will not be required. As a result of this, there will be a cost-effective method to meet our rising demand for fuel and energy.
Since we cannot completely shift from petroleum to other sources of energy, the least we can do is to save it in a way that it becomes sustainable for use by future generations. If we have an alternative fuel available, only then will we be able to shift from petroleum. There will also be a reduced impact of the greenhouse gases if we start using biomass for the purpose.
Many poor African countries could use biofuels to reduce the dependence on foreign oils which will provide economic benefits to the nation. What’s even more beneficial is that biofuels can solve the energy crisis in many rural areas if people are provided certain animals such as horses and cows.
Are There Any Costs Associated with Biofuels?
Although there are quite many benefits which could convince anyone to shift to biofuels, there are certain costs or drawbacks associated with it as well which should be considered. One of the main points raised by environmentalists is that if biofuels are generated on a larger scale from plants, it will require a large land to be cleared from food crops production. There is a very minor chance that this could lead to a potential shortage of food.
In Indian districts where Cow Manure is used for burning, it leads to added levels of air pollution which could potentially lead to further global warming. The right thing to do in this regard is to use biofuels in a way that is environmentally friendly and creates a sustainable atmosphere for future generations as well. Many also argue that the burning of cow dung creates lower pollution than it does with wood or coal burning.
Biofuel crops may not require other resources as such but there will be a huge demand for water to irrigate and grow these crops. Although water is a readily available good, the high demand may potentially cause a shortage in the future.
Can My Car Run on Vegetable Oil?
There are thousands of people who have already done this experiment and guess what – it turned out to be a complete success. Since the year 2017, many people have been modifying their diesel car engines in a way that vegetable oil can be used in them. This is referred to as the Straight Vegetable Oil or Pure Plant Oil formula.
Diesel engines can be modified so that the viscosity of vegetable oil gets low allowing for the smooth atomization of the fuel. As a result, there will be complete combustion in the engine which will also help the car in running smoothly. Straight Vegetable Oil can be blended with conventional diesel as well.
Long story short, yes, your car can run on vegetable fuels or even cooking oils, but it will require some extra resources and effort. If you have plans to try out this experiment at your home, go to YouTube and you will find loads of tutorials on how to get your car to be used with biofuels.
Future of Biofuels
From the current situation of our planet, we can see that the resources are depleting quickly. It is highly likely that we use up all of the resources and leave very few for the coming generations. What needs to be done to ensure that there is sustainable living on this planet is to develop a system of getting mass energy from biofuels and reducing the overall crisis.
This kind of system will also ensure that future generations don’t face any kind of problems. A slow transition needs to be started right away so that a complete dependence on biofuels can be made in the long run.
We can say that biofuels are as important as our focus on technology is. We see that there is a constant improvement in technology but very little to resolve the global energy crisis. Nonetheless, we expect things to get better in the future. We really recommend that you try out the vegetable oil or cooking oil experiment to power your car as it can be your contribution to conserving the environment.
To make an even more valuable contribution to the environment, consider using renewable sources of energy at your home. Follow the details here – Are renewable energies nowadays something you should consider about your home?
If you would like to learn more about the different types of batteries and their usage, you can read here – A Detailed Guide: Types and Sizes of Batteries.