What are the disadvantages of biofuels?

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  • The disadvantage of biofuels is that despite being a renewable source of energy the levels of power/energy it produces are not high enough (compared to fossil fuels) to be used commerically i.e. for industry, power stations etc.
  • Despite the many positive characteristics of biofuels, there are also many disadvantages to these energy sources. The main issue is producing biofuels in a sustainable way. This means an emphasis on agricultural practices that do not use rainforests / other endangered habitats or food crop producing land or extensive irrigation or fertilization. Some Biofuels are more harmful than others.


Rainforest and natural habitat destruction:
  • Palm oil can be especially damaging but is cheaper than other alternatives. Most palm oil is produced on destroyed rainforest habitat.) Unilever is the world's biggest purchaser of palm oil. The Center for Orangutan Protection concluded orangutans there could be extinct in Borneo by 2011.

Greenhouse gas reduction:
  • Rapeseed may produce more CO2 than fossil fuels - (link below).
  • Shell is working to develop the fuel ethanol from wheat straw to reduce waste and emissions - (link below).
  • It takes 840 years for a palm oil plantation to soak up the carbon emitted when rainforest is burnt to plant the crop.
  • Modern agriculture uses a lot of farm machinery and a lot of petroleum-based fuel to run that machinery, so that the fuel invested to create biofuel can offset any possible savings from using biofuel as a substitute for petroleum-based fuels.
  • Several studies have been conducted to analyze the carbon footprint of biofuels, and while they may be cleaner to burn, there are strong indications that the process to produce the fuel - including the machinery necessary to cultivate the crops and the plants to produce the fuel - has hefty carbon emissions.
  • Biofuels have a lower energy output than traditional fuels and therefore require greater quantities to be consumed in order to produce the same energy level.

Affect on existing agriculture and water supplies:
  • Biofuel production can adversely affect food and water supplies to poorer communities and income from agriculture for those communities. It can contribute to deforestation and soil erosion.
  • Also, because land ownership is so important to survival, human rights are often very sensitive to any change in land use.
  • As demand for food crops such as corn grows it could also raise prices for necessary staple food crops. Malaysia & Indonesia currently meet about 87% of global palm oil demand. China is currently the world's largest importer of palm oil, accounting for one third of all global trade. Biofuel is made from things such as corn, which may be more needed in the form of food than they are as fuel.

they are more labour intensive and take longer to make . they are also less popular.
well biofuels are great because they use less fossil fuels. but the problem is that they cause food prices to go up, which will affect us and the the poorest countries in the world, especially those people that already cant afford food. in my own experiance, they caused my millage to be way lower then usual, i went from 22 mpg in my truck to about 12 or 13, maybe in the future they will fix these problems, but for now i dont support biofuels, we would be trading one problem for another.

You can by cars made for biofuels. The Saab 9-3 is avalible with an E85 model (for not much more) that uses 85% ethonal. This means the car is cheaper to run, uses less fossil fuel and also runs better. E85, however had limited avalibility. For example it is avalible in the UK but only at a few places in Australia. So if you live in Europe it could be worth it, these cars can run on regular petrol too.
1. Food vs. Fuel Converting a significant amount of the very limited amount of arable land on the planet from food production to fuel production decreases global food supply, leading to obvious problems such as increased food prices and famine in less wealthy areas. This could be countered either by restricting biofuel production or developing better food plants with better yields (will likely involve genetic engineering).

 2. Deforestation Countries that have based their economies on biofuel export may destroy preexisting forests and convert the land for biofuel production. This decreases the overall effectiveness of biofuel usage since the destruction of forests, which are much more efficient at absorbing atmospheric CO2 then biofuel plants, increases net carbon output.

 3. Water shortage Growing plants for biofuel needs substantial amounts of water, and in regions with little water, irrigation may deplete water supply for people and livestock.

 4. Bio-gas The main disadvantage is the loss of the organic waste for compost or fertilizer.
Limited in the quantity of electricity it can produce on the global scale.
There is little or no control on the rate of gas production, although the gas can, to some extent be stored and used as required.

There are other factors as well. Check the Wikipedia page on Issues relating to biofuels for more details.



The two biggest obstacles to bio-fuel are:
1. It take up space - the amount of space required to produce 1 barrel of biodiesel from vegetable (soy bean) oil is 2/3rds of an acre. It would take therefore 880,000 acres to produce in one year the amount of oil produced by drilling, in the state of Texas, in one day. or more succinctly it would take an area twice the size of Texas to replace the oil produced there.

2. It is costly: It costs $2.80 per gallon to produce 1 gallon of bio-diesel. It costs $0.75 per gallon to produce diesel from petroleum.

** statistics for corn oil are higher, and for rapeseed oil are slightly lower.
A third disadvantage would be soil depletion, growing a single crop on a given property depletes essential nutrients for that crop.

That being said, biodiesel produced as a part of a more diversified renewable energy plan is not a bad idea.
Plants used for biofuels could be used for food.
22 people found this useful

How is biofuel prepared?

Bio-fuel is a common term that is used to refer to any organicmaterial that can be burnt. Biomass, like bagasse, the waste fromsugar cane, is a biofuel. Common types of liquid biofuel are Bio-Ethanol (Bio-gasoline) andBio-diesel. Bio-diesel is made using the transesterification processusing new o ( Full Answer )

What can be used for biofuel?

To be a bio-fuel a material has to be "bio" (derived from a recently living plant or animal source) and "fuel" (capable of being combusted in a manner that gives heat). This leaves a wide range of potential candidates: . any plant or animal oil or fat new or used (e.g. old chip fryer oil) . any u ( Full Answer )

Who discovered biofuel?

The history is a little vague; but the two prominent people who first "discovered" and applied bio-diesel were George Washington Carver and Rudolf Diesel. Rudolf Diesel was the creator of the Diesel Engine and he ideally envisioned the diesel engine being used with a bio-fuel source. On a side no ( Full Answer )

What is biofuel?

Biofuel can best be described as an alternative fuel source,whether solid, liquid, or gas, which is derived from biomass.Biomass is the base compound for biofuels, and comes from grains,cellulose plants and animal fats. In other words, bio-fuel refersto the type of fuel that is derived from living m ( Full Answer )

Is biofuel renewable?

Biofuel is renewable because the process that generates the fuel is ongoing. Trees can be regrown, sewage can be converted into methane, and oil and alcohol can be generated from various plants. Biofuel takes carbon dioxide from the air as the original vegetation grows, and returns it when burnt, so ( Full Answer )

How do you get energy from biofuel?

There are many ways in which you could get energy from biofuel. Youcould for example burn the biofuel substance.

What is biofuel energy?

Biofuel energy is a type of energy that is created from organicproducts. Biofuel energy is a renewable energy source.

What does biofuel mean?

A biofuel is either a solid, liquid, or gas that is made from recently living material. A biofuel produces less CO 2 when burnt than a fossil fuel would. Biofuels are frequently used to power cars, trucks, tractors, etc. and to heat homes or other buildings.

How does biofuel work?

Biofuel is any kind of oil (vegetable oil) or organic burnablematerial (biomass) that is not fossil fuel (coal, oil and naturalgas). Biofuel is renewable because it comes from plants or algaethat grew recently, and removed carbon dioxide from the atmospherewhile growing. When burnt, this carbon diox ( Full Answer )

What is biofuel made of?

They can be from a variety of naturally occurring substances. Most commercial biofuels are manufactured from grain plants. But things such as adipose tissue could make biofuel, as well. In Sweden, some several thousand dead rabbits were supposed to be converted into biofuel, for example.

Why are biofuels needed?

Some people have bad eye sight like me! . Some times they just have to wear them.

What was the biofuel bill?

biofuel bill is the price of biofuels being used and the amount of energy source being taken up by the earths atmosphere

What are the uses of biofuels?

Biodiesel is one biofuel that is in the place of kerosene in lampsand stoves. Ethanol is a biofuel that is used in vehicles in placeof traditional gasoline.

How do you make a biofuel?

Biodiesel fuel can be made out of many organic compounds. Vegetableoil and corn oil are two things that can be used.

What are the advantages of biofuels?

The advantages of using biofuels is that they are renewable unlike fossil fuels. Recycled vegetable oil is used to make biodiesel (B100), not petroleum. Hence you are decreasing demand for petroleum and reusing a biological, renewable resource, and emissions are significantly less (see link below). ( Full Answer )

Disadvantages of biofuels?

Despite the many positive characteristics of biofuels, there are also many disadvantages to these energy sources.. The main issue is producing biofuels in a sustainable way. This means an emphasis on agricultural practices that do not use rainforests / other endangered habitats or food crop produci ( Full Answer )

Where can biofuel be used?

Biofuel can be used in place of regular diesel in most places. B5,B20, and B30 fuels can be used with no modification to existingfuel tanks.

Are biofuels safe?

According to experts, biofuels use only energy from carbon fixationand does not give off any greenhouse effects which negativelyimpacts air quality and humans. Therefore, biofuel is safe for theenvironment.

Where does a biofuel grow?

Biofuel doesn't grow anywhere, it comes from plants that have the characteristics and compounds that enable them to be used for biofuel. Such plants include corn, canola, sunflowers, and rapeseed.

What is an example of a biofuel?

An example of a biofuel would be ethanol. A biofuel is anythingthat is organic, and can be grown by humans on a mass scale. Otherexamples are peanut oil and lamp oil.

Is ethanol a biofuel?

Ethanol can be a biofuel if it is obtained from vegetable matter. It can also be produced by the hydrogenation of ethylene in a refinery or chemical plant.

Is oil a biofuel?

Yes & No! Mineral Oil is a fossil fuel & is not renewable & would not be classed as a BioFuel Vegetable Oils are renewable & would be classed as BioFuels

Why are biofuels used?

Bio fueles are used because they are a more eco friendly option than other fuel options. Bio fuels are eco friendly because they don't emit as much CO2 as others. Bio fuels are made from natural resources such as corn. Some people feel that Bio fuels are not a good way to replace other non eco frien ( Full Answer )

What are the uses for biofuels?

Fuel produced from renewable biomass material, commonly used as analternative, cleaner fuel source. Bio fuels are most commonly usedto power vehicles, heat homes, and for cooking. Solid biomass isalso used. This can be used for power production.

A list of biofuels?

I have a science project that you had to list biofuels, They are: Ethanol- that is Corn,barley and sorghum Other sources of sugar to produce ethanol they are Potato skins, Rice, Sugar cane, Sugar, beets, Yard clippings, Bark and Switchgrass

How is biofuel collected?

Biofuel is any kind of vegetation that can be burnt to generate electricity. This can be the remains of crops like sugar cane (bagasse) after the sugar is removed. It can be the husks of coconuts. Often farmers are glad to get rid of this stuff and pleased that it is generating renewable energy.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of biofuels?

Advantages Biofuel advocates frequently point out the advantages of these plant- and animal-based fuels, such as: Cost: . Once the technology is widely available, biofuels can be significantly less expensive than gasoline and other fossil fuels, particularly as worldwide demand for oil incr ( Full Answer )

What are all the biofuels?

Biofuels are fuels used in powering machinery such as automobiles that are produced from organic matter, such as corn. They differ from fossil fuels which may have originally been organic matter but have changed chemically.

What does biofuel do?

Bio fuel is basically fuel but instead of using fossil fuel to make it, you use matter to make it (for example: vegetable oil can be used to produce Bio-fuel. PS: You should use wikipedia.org .

Where can biofuel be found?

Biofuel cannot be found before it has been converted. It is a type of energy harvested from sugar, starch, animal fats and vegetable oil using conventional technology, unlike fossil fuels. Biofuels can be found in cars, alcohol and gases, which produce more energy than normal fuels.

Why do you need biofuels?

We need biofuel because we can use it to power diesel vehicles without adding to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide released from biofuel was removed recently from the air when the plants were grown. This is part of the carbon cycle and does not increase global warming. Burnin ( Full Answer )

What are traditional biofuels?

Biofuels are fuel made from any plant or animal based products. Twotraditional biofuels are wood and corn. Biofuels are renewablesources of energy.

What effects does biofuel have?

An effect of biofuel is the high amount of water usage that isneeded for biofuel producers and putting stress on fresh watersupplies. Another effect higher demand for food-biofuel crops, butthere will be high prices for consumers to purchase them.

What are some disadvantages of biofuel?

Less energy output by volume compared to petroleum, currently inefficient production means high ratio of energy put into producing biofuel versus energy yielded from fuel itself. . Ethanol from corn is a huge scam subsidized by the US government supported by congressmen from corn producing states ( Full Answer )

Is biofuel reliable?

It is getting less expensive all the time. Like everything though,bio-fuel is not 100% reliable. It is more reliable than regular fuel though and is more healthy for our planet that the other junk that we put everywhere.

What can biofuels be used in?

Liquid biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel can be used in cars andtrucks. Any sort of combustion engine can use biofuels, sometimeswith a little tuning.

Where are biofuel factories?

Ethanol is one of the more common biofuels used in the US, and most of those production facilities are located in the Midwest. Biodiesel, which is made with soybean oil, is also a growing biofuel, also produced primarily in the Midwest. Some homes, greenhouses, and other buildings are heated with w ( Full Answer )

What are the applications of biofuel?

Biofuels can be used for any purpose that fossils fuels are used. Transportation of people or materials, electrical power generation, and agricultural production are but a few of these.

Are biofuels the future?

Yes and no. They are an important step to completely sustainable energy use throughout the world. Virtually all energy on our planet comes, in one form or another, from the sun. Once we have learned to efficiently and sustainably harvest this energy, biofuels may eventually be phased out. But they w ( Full Answer )

Is biofuel sustainable?

It's supposed to be from renewable resources, but as far as sustainability, there is some controversy over that.

What problems are there with biofuel?

The main problem with biofuel is trying to make it economically viable. Most of the current methods are simply too expensive, but that will probably change with more research and as petroleum fuel prices continue to rise. -------- The above answer is incorrect, the main problem is how to get en ( Full Answer )

What is a biofuel analyst?

one who studys fuel that is from natural sources, like ethenol which comes from corn

How is biofuel good?

It reduces the consumption of fossil fuels, and typically burns cleaner than pure petroleum products. Additionally, it is made from renewable resources. However, biofuels also carry disadvantages which often don't outweigh the advantages they possess.

How accessible is biofuels?

Biofuels is always availabale as it comes from pig faeces which is always availabel 24-7 is incorrect. Biofuels come from cow faeces and sometimes even human faeces. . Scientists are also trialing flatus capture apparatuses for Pigs, Cows and sheep. If they can harness there methang we can maybe ( Full Answer )

How are biofuels beneficial?

Biofuels are beneficial because they do not add carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) to the atmosphere. They do release carbon dioxide when burnt, but it is carbon dioxide that was recently removed from the atmosphere when the vegetation was growing (bio-fuels are produced from various kinds of vegetation). ( Full Answer )

How efficient is a biofuel?

boifule, i would say is quite efficient, instead of burning fossil fuels it is more efficient and it means you wont be paying high prices for something that will, eventually run out.

Is sunlight a biofuel?

No. Biofuel is material derived from biological sources that can beused as fuel. Sunlight is not material, nor is it biological, noris it fuel. Sunlight is energy.

What are the disadvantanges of biofuel?

Not many disadvantages. Sometimes it comes from plant matter that could have been used to feed people, so the price of that food has increased.

Are biofuels inexhaustable?

I know that biofuels are renewable because they arederived from plant material. Those plants use sunlight, which is aninexhaustible source. I'm not so sure but that should clear thingsup.