The negative effects of using biofuels

Advantages Biofuel advocates frequently point out the advantages of these plant- and animal-based fuels, such as:

The negative effects of using biofuels

Posted on August 31, by energyskeptic Alice Friedemann. Last update Oct 23,first [ Formerly titled: Shorter versions appear in the following books: But the root of the matter is whether growing biomass for fuel can be made sustainable.

Since fossil fuels are finite, it certainly makes sense to turn to biomass to provide fuel to replace oil. After all, besides water, air, and dirt, plants are the most abundant and renewable resource that could possible scale up to replace fossil fuels.

But is there enough biomass? The Department of Energy lists ways biomass is already being used that will compete with its use as a fuel and for electricity generation Ruth Table 3.

Since trucks and rail are the basis of civilization as we know it, all, most of this biomass ought to be converted to 2 diesel to keep trucks and locomotives running.

The negative effects of using biofuels biodiesel is just 1 percent of total diesel production by volume, with soybeans making up 57 percent of that feedstock. Oil is a biofuel, but nonrenewable since it took Mother Nature millions of years to brew withpounds of plants per gallon, which is equivalent to cramming 40 acres of wheat into your gas tank every 20 miles Dukes.

And therein lies the rub. It takes enormous amounts of biomass to make liquid fuels. To do that would require 15 billion metric tons of plant biomass taking up billion cubic meters bcm. But only 2 billion metric tons of rice, wheat, soybeans, corn, and other grains and oil seeds with a volume of 2.

Environmental impact of biodiesel - Wikipedia

In the United States all green plants collectively produce biomass equivalent to about 53 exajoules of energy per year from sunlight, only about half of our total fossil energy use. The best, most productive land east of the Mississippi that can grow soybeans with rainfall.

The negative effects of using biofuels

This would generate million tonnes of Dried Distillers Grain DDG byproduct, 10 times more than the entire consumption of high protein commercial feeds — 51 million tonnes in Pro-ethanol scientists add DDG as a positive net energy gain, when in fact it will take a huge amount of energy to dispose of most of this environmental pollution, only a small percent of which can be eaten by lifestock, and only carried so far or the diesel fuel used to transport it is larger than the energy contained in the DDG.

Just one of many silver bullets. But people argue endlessly about EROI because of the boundaries do you include the energy to make the tractor that planted the corn or not?

The Dirt on Dirt. Ethanol is an agribusiness get-rich-quick scheme that will bankrupt our topsoil. Nineteenth century western farmers converted their corn into whiskey to make a profit Rorabaugh The energy to haul moonshine is a tiny fraction of the energy to haul corn to distant cities after all, more of a positive EROI if you will.

Archer Daniels Midland ADMa large grain processor, came up with a similar scheme in the 20th century; ethanol. But ethanol was a product in search of a market, so ADM spent three decades relentlessly lobbying for ethanol to be used in gasoline.

The Future of Biofuels

Today ADM makes record profits from ethanol sales and government subsidies Barrionuevo Fuels made from biomass are a lot like the nuclear powered airplanes the Air Force tried to build from tofor billions of dollars.Primary Advantages and Disadvantages of Biofuels.

No fuel source is completely positive or completely negative. Consumers need to weigh the pros and cons of biofuels to determine whether they feel comfortable with this resource as an alternative to traditional fuels. Bioenergy can have positive and negative ecological and environmental impacts, and the overall net impact can be either positive or negative.


Many of the ecological and environmental impacts of bioenergy are associated with land use and land use change in connection to biomass production. needs to be stored with a moisture content of 15% or less, but it’s typically %, and rain or snow during harvest will raise these levels even higher (DOE Feedstock Roadmap).

Negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels and concerns about petroleum supplies have spurred the search for renewable transportation biofuels.

To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be . The objectives of this study were to evaluate the return of investment and profitability of a bio-gasification facility using a modeling method.

Algae production has some other negative environmental impacts, Clarens said. For one, to convert algae into fuel, producers centrifuge the algae-laden water to separate the two, and that takes "a.

10 Disadvantages of Biofuels | HowStuffWorks