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Bio fuels are renewable energy resources that are formed by converting organic matter from crops, animals and plants to combustible fuel. They are an alternate source of energy to the currently used fossil fuels. There is a great buzz around of using these fuels instead of the other fossil fuels like petrol, diesel as they are more environment friendly and will also decrease our dependence on the fossil fuel .Bio fuels like ethanol and bio diesel are suggested to be used as they emit less carbon dioxide and will contribute less to the recent global climate change. Because of Recent global price hikes and advance ways of extraction of these fuels much attention has been given to this industry in the past few years In true sense its harms to the mankind are more than its benefits. This research paper discusses how the massive use of the bio fuel industry has created serious concerns regarding greenhouse effect, deforestation, food supply chain, impact on poor’s and water cycle. It should be stopped before its costs to the humanity are irrecoverable and a large colossal damage is done.“read more”

                                                  The chief reason of promoting Bio fuels is the misconception that they will reduce the climate change by emitting less Carbon dioxide and other gases causing greenhouse effect.  In fact they are not as environmental friendly as their promoters claims to be. The articles published by the University of Michigan shows that the net energy taken from bio fuels is either negative or slightly positive. (Barbara)It means that it takes more energy to produce them, and then they provide, resulting in more Carbon dioxide into the environment. Though the reduction in crops can be tackled by producing them again but still the production of these crops is energy intensive involves processes which in turn cost to the environment specially the use of machinery and transport. If the combined energy cost of corn production, use of machinery in the farms, extracting corn into ethanol, energy cost of pesticides, insecticides and herbicides and the energy cost of environmental restoration is taken into account then it proves that the use of bio fuels is much harmful for the environment.(Debatecoaches)

                                               Using Bio fuels as a source has a lot of limitations. Nowadays America is using its 18% of maize crop to convert into bio fuels. But this has helped to replace only 3% of fossil fuels reduction. Even if all of the maize crops produced in United States is used to extract bio fuels it will only generate bio fuel able to hardly replace only eighteen percent of United States Fossil Fuel consumption.(Barbara) But then there will be no food available to available for the common man and other live stock. Researches studies have shown that it will take land almost half as America to produce bio fuel able to replace 10% of gasoline. Along with United States a lot of other countries that rely on United States Maize crops will have to face starvation.
                                                 Research studies have shown that Use of bio fuels in place of gasoline will significantly increase global warming. The research study by the Royal Society of Chemistry revealed that combustion of Bio fuels emit  greenhouse gases whose some components are extremely dangerous to the environment than fossil fuels. These greenhouse gases cause a large scale depletion of ozone layer and high acidification of the environment. (Zoe)Kein Smith a research Professor at the University of Chicago said that using bio fuels in place of fossil fuels has in reality no benefit and is in fact making the climate worse. Princeton scholar Tim Searchinger has modeled this impact and reports in Science magazine that the net impact of the food-to-fuel push will be an increase in global carbon emissions – and thus a catalyst for climate change.(Alex)
                                              About two third of the global water is used by agriculture and that is why in many areas the water level is decreasing. Corn ethanol absorbs large quantities of water. It requires 1700 gallons of fresh water in the production and distillation of ethanol.(Barbara)  With the increase in demand of biofuels more water will be needed causing a shortage of fresh water. Moreover each gallon of ethanol also releases ten gallons of polluted water which has a huge monetary and environmental costs associated. The crop uses more pesticides than any other crops and also large amounts of urea. These chemicals are absorbed by the land hence resulting in more pollution of the water. This polluted water is mainly disposed to the rivers and eventually falls into seas where they also endanger the marine life.(Free Republic)
                                                         The advocates of Bio fuels say that use of bio fuels will substantially improve the economic condition of farmers in agriculture intensive developing nation e.g. Pakistan and India. The farmers will able to enjoy high prices for their crops because of their increased demand. But in fact the concept is incorrectly based on an economic principle. The high prices of fossil fuel have made it lucrative for potential investors which will in turn reduce the prices in the long run. Moreover countries like Russia are exploring their own gasoline resources which were not possible earlier. These steps will reduce the price of fossil fuels in the near future making bio fuels a less economic choice.(Moberg)
                              Bio fuels are in no way relatively cheaper than their alternatives Fossil fuels when their energy content is taken into account. Research analysis shows that ethanol has a net energy of 2 to 1 or even below. Most of the researches argue that it has negative net value. Even    if we take the high ratio 2 to 1 it’s far below than that of fossil fuels which has a net energy ratio of 20 to 1. If the entire US vehicles are run by ethanol then they have to invest 20 times more in energy. (Jenkins)The cost of Biofuels is not as low when compared to the net energy value of Fossil fuels. So replacing Fossil fuels with Biofuels will be a very unsuitable choice and will have some very harsh effects on the economy of a country.
                                                                   Another big threat in switching to the bio fuels is of that to the global food supply chain. Switching to bio fuels will take a large chunk of the agricultural area that was earlier used for food production. Even many countries are producing food surplus to their needs but the increased demand for bio fuels will decrease the supply of food for human consumption. Some of the countries that are the exporters of food will turn to be the importers of food. Even small scale consumption of biodiesel will take almost all of the cropland in some of the European countries. This shortage of supply result in price hikes causing problems for the poor of developing as well as developed nation. The survey by the Nation Science forum has revealed the one of the prime reason of food crisis as the diversion of some 5% cereals to agro fuels. World Bank has also said that 75% of increase in food prices is because of the production of bio fuels.(Bailey)
                           Increased production of Bio fuels has resulted in deforestation. To meet the huge energy demands huge areas are deforested to make the land available for growing maize, sugarcane and palm seeds. Agro fuels are a major cause of deforestation. The threat is more severe in developing countries where the motive for deforesting is greater eg Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia. According to a UN report 98% of Indonesia will be deforested by 2022. (Scientific Blogging). Amazon forests in Brazil are deforested illegally despite the severe attempts of the government to protect them. This rapid deforestation has posed a threat to the biodiversity and wildlife. Orrington is near extinction in Indonesia so are other thousand of species specially, gibbons, tapirs, proboscis monkeys, tigers. (Barbara)
                                                    The effect of deforestation is not limited since the industrial plantation has its own costs associated. Since these crops are produced year after year from the same land they affect the water cycle of the land too. These non native species of plants consume high volumes of water hence negatively affecting the water cycle. Large quantities of pesticides and insecticides are used to stop the growth of other plants that affects the growth of crop, further affecting the water cycle. Even then the idea of using bio fuels is getting popular causing some of the most biological diverse habitats to come to end.
                              The most severe effects of Bio fuels will be on the poor people of the earth. According to World Bank half of the earth population is living below the poverty line, earning less than 2 dollars a day. More than 1 billion people do not eat the minimum calories needed for a man to be health. Economist study has shown that when the price of staple food increases by 1 percent its consumption decreases by half percent. The poor people are spending almost 65 to 85 percent of their household incomes on food. Everyday 1800 people are dying from starvation and malnutrition related issues and any large increase will enormously increase the number of people dying from starvation and malnutrition related diseases. This will be the outcome of using basic food commodities to produce agro fuels.(Tait, Banji)
                                                       One of the major advocates of Bio fuels is United States of America. The dependence of United States its allies on the gasoline is a major concern as most of it is produced by the Gulf Countries most of which are unreliable, undemocratic Governments and none of them can be considered as a source of oil for a long term. Most of the countries not only depends on the oil resources of other countries but are also large importers of food too. In no way America energy demands can be fulfilled by bio fuels. If America tried to produce bio fuels from its food resources it will become dependent on the food of other countries as well.
                                       Biodiesel has a lot of concerns when used in place of petroleum diesel. It’s has excellent solvent properties and readily dissolves any deposits in the delivery systems and filters that may cause the filters to be replaced. Petroleum diesel makes deposits and since biodiesel solves those deposits they can easily impede the motion in the filters. Its solvent properties also cause a lot of concerns and other fuel system problems in older engines. It has also some harmful effects on the durability of the engine too.
                                                             Man is using its energy resources at an appalling pace and damaging the environment. No doubt that biodiesel is an alternative to fossil fuels but considering its effects on mankind it’s not a solution to the problem. Its environmental issues are far more than that of fossil fuels. Its concerns regarding deforestation, water cycle and global warming makes them an unsuitable choice to replace the fossil fuels. Moreover biofuels can never be a large scale supplier of energy because of their production limitation, and will also cause food crisis throughout the globe especially for the countries involved in its production. Owing to all the reason it’s very clear that we should stop supporting biofuels as they are in no way a possible economic choice for us.

Written By: Waqas Sikandari

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