"If you don't like the way the world is, you change it. One step at a time" – Marian Wright Edelman
Have you read the above quote? Do you have any suggestions? If it is, you are also an individual who aspires to be a change maker of a sustainable world. Sustainability is no longer about doing less harm. However, it is about doing more good to make this world a better place for the future generation.
Climate action (SDG13) is one of the goals of Sustainable development goals. Moreover, sustainable development is the concept that human societies must survive and meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Therefore, it is always at our hands to make this world a sustainable place. Using renewable energy sources would be a great initiative to mitigate the climate change problems that occurred recently. That's why biofuels play a significant role in shaping the future of the planet Earth.
Biofuels are liquid fuels that have been manufactured from other materials such as plants or animal waste. Ethanol, vegetable oils, animal fats, and green diesel can be considered as some examples of biofuels. Mainly, there are three types of biofuels: First-generation biofuels, Second-generation biofuels, and third-generation biofuels.
The first-generation biofuels are made from starch, sugar, or vegetable oil and are not sustainable or green. Therefore, if it is used in large quantities, it could damage food supplies. Second-generation biofuels are generally not food crops and not suitable for human consumption as they are produced differently from first-generation biofuels. The third-generation biofuels are made from algae and are capable of higher yield with lower resource inputs. Gasoline, ethanol, and jet fuels are examples of third-generation biofuels.
Why do we use biofuels? The production and consumption of biofuels ensure that the natural Carbon cycle is 100% accomplished which eliminates the continuous increase in Carbon Dioxide rates in the atmosphere. That might cause a collective impact on the environment and pave the way to mitigate global warming. For instance, a crop of plants that are used to produce a barrel of biofuel will absorb exactly the similar amount of Carbon Dioxide emitted from the burning barrel produced.
Biofuels are one of the good sources of renewable energy. Furthermore, Biofuel can be used for various purposes in daily life. For example, Diesel can use to run cars and trucks, use biofuels to power aircraft, and a large percentage of off-road equipment such as vehicles used in agriculture, mining, forestry, construction, and power and heat production as well as used in small engines to improve the sustainability.
Even though biofuels are used as a good solution for sustainable development, there are still both advantages and disadvantages to using biofuels. The advantages are such as low cost, less expensive, renewability, economic stimulation, and lower carbon emissions. Other than that, oil is a limited resource that comes from specific materials, so biofuel can be manufactured from a wide range of materials, including crop waste, manure, and other by-products. Moreover, biofuels can be produced locally which decreases the nation's dependence upon foreign energy. Ultimately, biofuel would be a marvelous solution for future energy crises in the world.
Thus, there are some disadvantages of biofuels as well. It might produce a considerable amount of carbon that causes environmental issues. Perhaps, high initial investment is often required to refine biofuels and to build necessary manufacturing plants. It may cause food prices and food shortages as well. That is to say, massive quantities of water are required for proper irrigation of biofuel crops and to manufacture the fuel. But still, biofuels are less harmful to the sustainability process of the planet Earth.
In conclusion, Biofuel would be an ideal solution to reach sustainable development goals. Therefore, it is our responsibility to inspire and inform the community to use more renewable energy sources such as biofuels. However, we can't sit back and watch until someone is taking action for a better world. So, you can take proper action, and become advocates to start changing the world into a more sustainable place.
Author: J.A.D.W.Prasadie Karunarathne