The Need for Sustainable Biofuel

sustainable biofuel
Credit: The Noun Project, FlickrCC

The world’s dependence on natural gas isn’t sustainable. There are many reasons why the need for sustainable biofuel is more crucial than ever, especially as climate change intensifies. Anyone interested in the environment can read about these top factors affecting the race for an alternative fuel source.

1. Fossil Fuels Are Running Out

The Peak Oil theory estimates that people will drill all of the available natural gas at some point. Recent research suggests that oil will run out in 53 years, so humanity needs a sustainable biofuel long before that happens. The transition to biofuel will take time, so research should speed up and make it more cost-effective so all consumers can access it.

2. Gasoline Supercharges Climate Change

People can opt for straws made out of recycled paper and turn off their lights when they’re not at home, but they’ll still contribute to the largest source of pollution: the burning of fossil fuels like gas. Every time someone drives their car or uses their gas-powered grill, they’re part of the 74 percent of total U.S. emissions that come from burning fossil fuels.

Using gasoline for so many daily necessities only supercharges the U.S.’s role in climate change. Everyone would significantly reduce that damage by finding a sustainable biofuel.

Right now, people think that fuel could come from the oil you already have in your kitchen. Freight trucks already use it in their diesel since 15 percent of America’s biodiesel comes from recycled cooking oil, but it isn’t enough to provide all of the country’s fuel needs. More development will be necessary to meet the country’s current demand for fossil fuels.

3. Corn-Based Ethanol Isn’t Green Enough

People may also mention corn-based ethanol as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Gas companies mix it into their gasoline to make it more affordable and less environmentally damaging, but research proves it does the opposite.

Corn-based ethanol produces much less carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned, but it creates 24 percent more CO2 during production due to the natural resources used on farms and processing facilities. It’s another example of the fuel industry taking a step forward and a half-step back simultaneously.

While the world waits for a genuinely sustainable biofuel, carbon capture and storage (CCS) efforts could capture 90 percent of carbon emissions if the technology continues to develop. While experts divert their finances to biofuel research, they can also advance carbon-capture technology to mitigate environmental damage.

4. The Population Is Growing Faster

The United Nations expects the world’s population to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, which will create an even greater demand for vehicles. Given that there are currently 1 billion cars used globally for 7.9 billion people, that number will only increase and add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

The need for individual modes of transportation won’t disappear, so the demand for sustainable biofuel will grow more critical by the day. Everyone will be able to reach their homes, jobs, and other commitments without harming the environment if the future that holds more cars on the road doesn’t also rely on fossil fuels.

5. Mining Production Harms the Planet

Tragic news stories accompanied by pictures of oil spills aren’t new, but the occasional spill around an oil-mining site isn’t the only risk run by depending on the fossil fuel. Any leakage harms local wildlife and ultimately hurts all living things connected to the food chain.

Loose oil can appear as food to some marine life, such as turtles and dolphins. Animals can also inhale the oil while swimming because they can’t close their gills. Natural gas also hurts essential coral reefs, which help the ocean absorb CO2 that would normally regulate the atmosphere.

A biofuel alternative wouldn’t need dangerous mining equipment, so the planet and everything that lives on it would be better off for the discovery.

The Future Needs Sustainable Biofuel

More people should know about the need for sustainable biofuel. With enough public pressure and education, the money needed for research and development would reach the right teams and a discovery would be much more likely.