Biofuels is the promising source of energy for future fuel needs. Biodiesel can be developed from growing plants which naturally contains oil namely Jatropha, palm oil, Soybean and algae. Bioethanol can be extracted from sugar crops like sugarcane, sugar beet, maize, corn etc by yeast fermentation. Wood products can also be converted into Biofuels.
The obtained Biofuels from these products contains both advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Biofuels:
Ecological Benefits: The main expectation of using the biofuel is to be carbon neutral, less of CO and Sulfur, as it is made from natural resources, and it is renewable and pure fuels so it is good for automobiles. It reduces the green house considerably compared to other fossil fuels.
First generation biofuels can save carbon emissions about 60% compared to fossil fuels whereas the second generation biofuels are better than first generation fuels. It offers carbon emission savings up to 80%. Recently, UK Government publication stated that biofuels can reduce emissions by 50-60%. Efficiency of the engine increases by using biodiesel as the lubricant.
Economical: The biofuel's price decreases considerably if the biofuel production technology spreads worldwide. The biofuels are developed locally which automatically enhances the rural development as the technology depends mainly on manual power. The rapid increase of biofuel simultaneously increases the production of these oil crops which stimulates the agricultural industry. The UK government has announced that it reduces the taxation for vehicles which are eco-friendly. Additionally, the durability of the engine increases while using these combustible fuels in engines.
Renewability and Degradable: The biofuels are made from crops which are renewable and it is biodegradable and safer to handle and less hazardous than fossil fuels.
Disadvantages of Biofuels:
Environmental Alarm: Adapting more lands for planting crops for biofuel extraction will threw away more habitats. More forests have been destroyed in Asian countries for the plantation. The producing mechanism of these biodiesel indeed requires fossil fuels which produces more carbon emissions. High initial investment is required for the biodiesel production.
Odour: Certain biofuel crop produces heavy smell those odours are generally undesirable and biofuels plants cannot be setup near the large communities.
Food and water Requirements: Some biofuel crops such as corn oil, palm oil are edible for cooking; the demand for these crops for biofuels may raise the price of these food crops. The huge amount of water is required for proper yield, even for drought resistant Jatropha plants.
Availability: The biofuels are not available in surplus so the diesel engines which are modified for biodiesel usage may face problems. The most automobiles are not equipped for using biofuels in the engines. Some biodiesel cannot resist frost; it gets frozen in the colder areas. It also increases the risk of microbial growth in the engine. Only few petrol stations offer this biofuels and it is impossible to transport the biofuels using pipelines.
Carbon emission: Biofuels are reduces the Jatropha greenhouse gases emission compared to other fossil fuels. Recently, the European scientist reported that the burning of biodiesel especially corn and rapeseed produces more nitrous oxide.