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Biofuels can be a solution

Mark Piazzalunga

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Biofuels are a controversial topic because of the conflict between two fronts (obviously pros and cons) that booth have valid points. The pros are many: the reduced cost and environmental impact compared to oil (85% of GHG emissions less) and their high availability (biofuels are considered renewable sources).the cons aren’t less: the environmental impact, reduced but still too high and the environmental consequences related to biofuels production.

Actually there are two generations of biofuels: the first involves bioalcohols, biodiesels, vegetable oil… they’re the most utilized and the more dangerous to the environment. The second involves biomethanol, biohydrogen and algae fuels (it seems impossible but it’s true) and it’s more improved than the first. Biomethanol is one of the biofuels which isn’t obtained by biomasses but mainly from carbon dioxide so there aren’t consequences related to its production GHG emissions from biomethanol are extremely reduced compared to oil. Its price is extremely reduced since it costs 50 cent per gallon. Basing on an article on USA Today about gas prices I realized that biomethanol costs seven times less than gas.

A growth of biomethanol usage in vehicle fuels sector will bring to an incredible decrease of GHG emissions and to a decrease of fuels prices. Still biofuels aren’t the greenest solution for vehicles sector. There are other projects involving renewable energy but they’ll take more time. I consider biofuels as a temporary solution for oil usage in vehicles sector. I underline temporary because it’s unthinkable that biofuels will be the only fuel such as oil right now. In the time frame between now and the global advent of renewable cars biofuels are a good solution.

Carefulness is necessary, the best way should be investing in the second generation of biofuels (especially in biomethanol which is the greenest). This could be a compromise to heal a useless debate. A future use of biofuels shouldn’t be a debated topic, we should focus on how to improve their technology to prevent any environmental consequences. We must stop to argue about solutions that are better than oil and non-renewable and start acting.


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