Bio-Fuels - What are they?
By Stuart Gardiner
When biological matter
decomposes bio-fuels are formed. Mainly derived from plants,
Bio-fuels can exist in all three states of matter: as solids,
liquids, or gas.
There are four types of
Bio-fuel, classed as first to fourth generation.
Bio-fuels are produced from vegetable fats, starch and sugar -
they are mainly derived from food crops and animal fats.
Bio-diesel and vegetable oil are two examples of this type of
bio-fuels are generally produced from waste biomass and
therefore generally regarded as more eco friendly than first
generation methods. Certain types of Alcohol and diesel
generated from wood fall into this category.
bio-fuels are derived from algae. Large scale farming of algae
is extremely environmentally friendly as the waste products can
decompose in soil without harmful side effects.
bio-fuels are created via mirco-organisms. These
micro-organisms are raised to work with carbon dioxide to
The main differences
between Bio-fuels and fossil fuels are significant when you
consider the impact on our environment.
However, all is not good news for Bio-fuels. There has been
much criticism about why agricultural land is being used to
generate Bio-fuels when it could just as well be used to
generate food. Does it really make sense in a world of
decreasing food supplies to use land for fuel generation. Also,
to what extent will we go to create Bio-fuels. Will more and
more land be used up in an effort to decrease our reliance on
Fossil fuels? This clearly does not make sense when you
consider how we cut down forests for the sake of agriculture
and in doing so contribute to global warming.
The Bio-fuel/Fossil fuel argument rages on
but one thing is clear. Eventually we will run out of Fossil
fuels and alternative energy sources will be required,
Bio-fuels or not.
The real question is, how quickly will we
make the shift away from fossil fuel reliance?