The world is changing. We’ve come a long way from the days when the only option for fuel was the fossil-fueled version. However, more strides can be made. In 2021, fossil fuels still accounted for 79% of U.S. energy consumption. While it’s hard to leave behind our dependence on it, fossil fuels must eventually go, and renewable energy sources must take their place.
In 2021, renewable energy contributed only 12% to the total U.S. energy consumption. Of course, that rate is gradually growing upward. Now, you can find renewable fuels and even hybrid engines that combine both traditional petroleum-based fuels and biofuels. What are these biofuels?
The best way to explain them is by looking at how they work and what they do for our planet’s future. Biofuel is one of the renewable energy sources that contributed to the U.S. energy consumption in 2021. Of all the other renewable sources, biofuel was the joint-second most popular one, alongside hydroelectric energy. As time progresses, we’ll see this energy source contributing more to our energy sector and the environment.
Having said all that, here are a few ways biofuel is impacting our world today and will continue impacting it in 2023 and beyond.
Producing Biofuels is Better for the Environment
Biofuels are a renewable, clean-burning source of energy that can be used to replace fossil fuels. When you burn biofuel, you aren’t releasing greenhouse gasses into the air. In fact, when considering the life-cycle carbon footprint of biofuels—from cultivation through production and use—they actually emit fewer greenhouse gasses than petroleum or other fossil fuels.
Diesel engines and diesel are used in trucks and heavy equipment like tractors and bulldozers, buses, trains, and ships. Biofuel can be used as an alternative fuel instead of diesel fuel in these vehicles without requiring any modifications to them because it is chemically compatible with petroleum diesel.
Many colleges and universities across the world are heavily invested in research involving biofuels. Even courses are specifically designed to involve their students in either generic or extensive ways. Studying Strayer University’s notebooks will help you realize just that. Students use these notebooks to gain a better understanding of their biology and chemistry lessons. They also use them for research down the line. A quick look at these notebooks will reveal just how invested these universities are in biofuel and other green energy alternatives.
Biofuel is Less Expensive Than Other Petroleum Alternatives
When it comes to cost, biofuels have a distinct advantage over petroleum alternatives. On top of these high prices, consumers are also paying high taxes on their fuel purchases due to their carbon emissions being harmful to the environment and society at large.
Coal is another fossil fuel whose prices fluctuate depending on how much demand there is for it from utilities across North America. Coal-produced energy is also costly. Thus, biofuel needs to be embraced by the masses if they want to limit their spending on fossil fuels.
Biofuel Consumption Increases the Gross Domestic Product
The more fuel you use, the more money you spend on that fuel. When you buy biofuel, your purchase creates jobs in areas like agriculture, transportation, and distribution. This creates a ripple effect throughout your local economy as well as in other sectors around the world.
In addition to this direct benefit, governments also benefit from rising GDPs because they can collect taxes on these sales. Consumers will also have more disposable income to spend on goods and services outside of their normal budgets, increasing economic activity worldwide.
Biofuel Can be Better for Your Engine’s Lifespan
In addition to being better for the environment, biofuel can also be better for your engine’s lifespan. The reason is that the different chemicals in biofuels react differently with your engine. As a result, you may need a different blend of biofuel than your car is used to running on. This means that you should consult with an auto mechanic before using any kind of alternative fuel in your vehicle.
Biofuels Are More Efficient Than Gasoline and Diesel
Biofuels are more efficient than petroleum fuels. They have a higher energy density than conventional gasoline and diesel, which means you can get more power out of a smaller amount of fuel. This is especially important for cars that rely on internal combustion engines (ICE), which are the standard vehicle in many parts of the world.
The majority of ICEs cannot burn biofuel blends directly. They require some kind of modification first. However, they can use it by converting existing gasoline or diesel engines with special hardware.
Biofuels Improve Air Quality in Urban Areas
Biofuels reduce the amount of particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in urban areas. PM is a collection of solid particles that get into the air and cause health problems like lung cancer and asthma. CO causes smog that can irritate your eyes and make it hard to breathe normally. NOx gasses contribute to the formation of ozone, another pollutant that is harmful to human health.
The concentration of all these gasses and particles in biofuel emissions is low. Thus, vehicles running on biofuel do not heavily harm the air quality.
Biofuel is the future of clean energy. The sooner we understand this fact and accept biofuel, the better it is for us and this planet.