The Production Of Bio-Fuels Article Review Examples

Published: 2021-06-21 23:39:19
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Bio-fuel is a form of energy which is obtained from renewable animal and plant materials. It includes; ethanol, biodiesel, green diesel, and biogas. Its development can be drawn into three generations; first, second and third, depending on the source of production. Bio-fuel crops such as sunflower, corn, sugarcane, rapeseed etc. are the source of first generation bio-fuels. A good example is ethanol. In the United States, ethanol is manufactured from corn whereas in Brazil sugarcane is used in the production of ethanol. In the case of second generation, bio-fuels are manufactured from agricultural waste materials, forestry, poplar, willow, perennial grasses etc. The third generation bio-fuels are manufactured from algae. Green diesel is a good example of fuel derived from algae.
The main purpose of this report is to outline the benefits and challenges that surround the manufacture and production of bio-fuels. Though engineers and other related researchers have outlined the benefits of this product, it has faced significant challenges that have in some way slowed down its development. Future development of the product depends solely on the ability of engineers to come up with improved technologies. This will aid in safe manufacture and production of the product.
Background Information
Despite cutting-edge meaning of the word “Bio-fuel”, plant-fuel has long being existing. In fact, Rudolph Diesel, a scientist during the 19th century, used oil from peanuts in powering compression engines. Henry Ford had also predicted “the future of fuel will come from fruits such as sumac, apples since all vegetables contained some fuel”. The need to respond to economical and environmental difficulties attributed to fossil fuels has necessitated the development of bio-fuels. .
Bio-fuel production, at first seemed to have helped a lot in curbing the high-priced fossil fuels and environmental hazards. It provided an alternative to these fossil fuels. Many sectors especially the transport sector has adopted the new energy. One such sector is the aviation one. Airlines opted to use this energy to curb the costs incurred in using fossil fuels. Though it provides a reliable alternative, which is deemed as advancement in technology, consumers, politicians, environmentalists and farmers are slowly learning that the condition is more complicated. Though they represent advancement in technology, the detriments of their use such as increased pollution, deforestation, a possible adverse energy steadiness, issues of vehicle safety and increased food prices pose a huge threat in its development.
Bio-fuels usage has led to several negative implications. Increased demand for food stuffs is one of the impacts. As the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (ERSUSDA) asserts “A steady move towards corn cultivation instead of other crops replicate the rise in local corn-based ethanol manufacture, that present high export gains which keep producer returns and corn demand strong”. As much as corn ethanol leads to increased farm profits, it has caused the hiking of food prices. As more farmers are diverting their corn to bio-fuel production, its supply as a food crop is constantly diminishing. The poor consumers are left vulnerable due to the high prices of food .
The safety of vehicles is also a significant concern the production of bio-fuels has brought about. The performance and safety of automobiles and plane engines using bio-fuel provides a significant concern. Technologists have asserted that, though bio-fuel usage is flexible and smooth in the short-term, its long term impacts on the engine have not been determined. Critics of this fuel are of the opinion that, engine performance can be substantially compromised in the long term. Another concern comes from the commercial airlines. They believe bio-fuels are the most probable to freeze at low temperatures than fossil fuels. Though pilots have successfully completed 100% of bio-fueled flights, most industries have not accepted using it purely. The airline industries have asked for more research on the same to ensure the safety of their passengers .
Pollution is another aspect of challenge that production of bio-fuels has generated. Though it sounds ironic, bio-fuels may lead to a rise in pollution. This is true since fossil fuels are significantly used in their production. A rise in ethanol usage causes a change in land use, which in turn leads to increased greenhouse gases emission. The machinery involved in the whole production process is deemed to pose significant health hazards. Analysts have also asserted that, the machines produce heavy carbon emissions which pollute the environment and end up endangering human health .
Energy balance is another controversial challenge that has been brought about by bio-fuels. Engineers and other analysts have in the past examined the production process involved in bio-fuels. They realized that, more energy is needed in producing bio-fuels than the actual supply. The quantities consumed by bio-fuels to produce the same levels of energy produced by fossil fuels are much higher. This, as many studies have asserted, indicates a negative balance of energy .
Following the challenges faced in the development of this fuel, Engineers are required to assist in different ways. Engineers should ascertain better plants that grow quickly, use less land and water. They are also required to design, develop and implement new machineries that are less harmful to the environment. This will help minimize the food shortages and pollution. It is also the burden of engineers to ascertain how less energy can be used to produce bio-fuel in order to curb the problem of negative energy balance. Engineers are also required to design automobile and plane engines that will be able to sustain bio-fuels in the long- term .
Future benefits
A number of benefits accompany the successful discovery, design, development and implementation of the new technologies. Apart from assisting in bio-fuel development, creation of jobs in various sectors is also a major benefit. Proper farming machineries, farming methods, vehicle parts among others will go a long way in creating jobs. People will be encouraged to venture into farming, many industries constructed as well as foreign exchange enhanced.
In conclusion, Bio-fuels are a significant step-forward in terms of the technology involved. Its development represents a huge advancement in technology. It however does provide a silver bullet to the energy crisis that affects the world. Substantial challenges face its complete implementation. The hiking in food prices, pollution, safety of vehicles, negative energy balance are some of the negative impacts that have slowed down its development. Sectors such as commercial airlines cannot completely trust these plant-fuels. Their main fear is that, at low temperatures the fuels may freeze and result in enormous losses. It is therefore imperative for Engineers to come up with new technologies that will assist curb these negative impacts. Successful implementation will broaden the job opportunities in farms, industries and enrich the market.
Bryn, M. (2009, April). FUEL,food, And The Future Of The Planet. The Biofuel Debate, 1-34.
Dehue Bart, S. C. (2011, May 18). Indirect Effects Of Biofuel Production. Indirect Effects Of Biofuel Production, 1-72.

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