Biofuels This fuel functions the same as petroleum-based
Posted On May 11, 2019
Biofuels are a storable energy that exclude all fossil fuels and has recently been of use to humans. They are primarily derived from animal products and plant components such as sugarcane, cellulose, vegetable oil, beef and pork fat. Certain fuel types are made up of plant and animal based oils (biodiesel), and others incorporate starch and plant sugars (bioethanol). Bioenergy is the stored and energy obtained from these products which is utilized as a more eco-friendly alternative for gasoline, propane and frankly all fossil fuels. When observed on a larger scale, the world’s energy consumption consists of roughly 10% bioenergy, and steadily increasing each year. The majority of individuals across Canada and other regions are aware of the fact that fossil-fuels are not a sustainable energy source which is why biofuels are a great alternative. Biofuels are more environmentally cautious in comparison to non-renewable resources and are stated a sustainable energy source. There are several forms of biofuel, however, the three types I will be focusing on are biodiesel, bioethanol and biogas. Biodiesel is more sustainable and environmentally aware form of crude oil. In most cases, this fuel form is composed of either plants, animal or a combination of both. The plant fuel is made up of vegetable, canola or soybean oils. The animal-based fuel is made up of fats from cattle, pigs and sheep. This fuel functions the same as petroleum-based diesel which allows it to cooperate in diesel performing engines. This eco-friendly fuel can be used on its own or combined with the petroleum-based diesel. Bioethanol is a form of biofuel made up of primarily natural starches and sugars. For example, the starches are derived from wheat and potatoes while the sugars are from fruits, molasses and sugar cane. When the starches and fruits are obtained, they are fermented which produces an alcohol which is what is used in the making of bioethanol. Although this form of fuel can be used on its own, it is usually incorporated with gasoline to improve/ reduce emissions and increase octane (burns cleaner). Biogas is another form of biofuel that requires the decomposition of organic materials such as plants, animals, and food scraps. When organic materials break down in an anaerobic environment (environment lacking the presence of oxygen), methane and carbon dioxide are released. If contained, these gases can be used on stovetops, heating units in houses and in many other situations as they are highly combustible. Using biodiesel is extremely beneficial as it reduces carbon emissions, the use of non-renewable energy sources and greenhouse gases. If biodiesel were to be used in its purest form as a fuel source, although it is unlikely as it is usually combined with petroleum-based diesel, it would reduce the carbon monoxide emissions by 50%, and a 70% reduction in all use of natural gas. When reducing emissions by such immense numbers, there will be noticeable improvements in the health of Canadian societies, the quality of our natural environment and the effects of climate change and global warming. Biodiesel is a very flexible alternative as it can work in most trucks, diesel-powered equipment and several power generators across Canada. Also, when looking into the properties that biodiesel offers, the lubrication of the fuel is reasonably higher than regular diesel which increases the lifespan of all types of engines. Since this fuel can be entirely made up of plant material and extracted plant oils, the emissions are essentially carbon free.