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Biofuel - Essay Example

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Biofuels have existed since the 1970s. Before 2010, every international commercial biofuels plant was either a biodiesel or a first generation ethanol. The United States of America has been termed to be the world’s largest producer of ethanol…
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Download file to see previous pages... Biofuels have existed since the 1970s. Before 2010, every international commercial biofuels plant was either a biodiesel or a first generation ethanol. The United States of America has been termed to be the world’s largest producer of ethanol. Back in 2009, the USA produced approximately 10.5 billion gallons of ethanol using corn. Brazil comes in second producing eight billion gallons of ethanol using sugarcane. It is strange to see that in a world where there is scarcity of food, there is a massive use of water resources and land in growing crops for the production biofuels. According to the United Nations, the up-and-coming biofuels industry may risk the rising of food prices. In line with the UN-Energy report: Sustainable Energy: a Frame Work for Decision Makers, it states that biofuels production has already driven up maize prices between the year 2006 and 2007. The report also states that biofuels possibly would have a dual consequence on food supplies. Alternatively, such crops could avert water, land as well as other resources away from the production of food. The report quotes that unless policies are formed and endorsed to guard threatened lands, push bioenergy development in sustainable direction in general and secure communally acceptable land use, the social and environmental damage could in some cases overshadow the benefits. A key argument exists on the scope to which policies of biofuels have contributed to high volatility and agricultural prices levels. A current study meant for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development illustrates that market driven growth of ethanol in United States’ increased corn prices by 21% in 2009,compared to the prices that would prevailing if the production of ethanol had been frozen in 2004. Lester R. Brown stated that by converting the whole grain harvest of the Americans would only generate 16% of its auto fuel wants, energy markets are efficiently positioned in opposition with food markets for limited arable land, consequential in a higher food price. A large number of R&D efforts are at present being positioned to the production of 2nd generation biofuels from waste, crop residues and non food crops. Second generation biofuels may possibly merge farming for fuel and food and in addition electricity could be produced simultaneously, this could be beneficial to third world countries as well as the rural areas in the developing countries (Desilva, 4). Strengths Renewability: Biofuels are easy to renew compared to fossil fuels which take relatively long time. This is because new crops are planted and their waste material is gathered. Cost: Biofuels are significantly less expensive compared to gasoline. This is true since increased worldwide demand for oil dwindles oil supplies hence biofuels becoming the only option. Security: Since biofuels ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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