What are biofuels | Are biofuels an alternative to fossil fuels?

Meaning of Bio-fuel

The International Energy Agency defines bio-fuels as ‘Liquid fuels derived from biomass and used as an alternative to fossil fuel based liquid transportation fuels such as gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels.’

Are Bio-fuels an alternative to fossil fuels?

Experts in this field distinguish between biofuels and sustainable biofuels. The first is derived from crops grown specifically to produce biofuels such as sugarcane, corn or soybeans and the second is derived from processed animal residues such as agricultural waste cooking oils and fats. The former is colloquially called 1G ethanol, or first generation biofuel, and the latter is called 2G, or second generation.

This gap has now come into sharp focus as climate change accelerates, threatening food security due to the need for more land for farming and the increasing loss of forests and biodiversity. Estimates show that more than half of the vegetated land today is cultivated, and agriculture is one of the world’s largest carbon emitters. Global Biofules Alliance or GBA has emphasized that its focus will be on developing 2G ethanol.

Why is there a renewed focus on Bio-fuels?

With severe disruption in global crude oil supplies following the Ukraine war, many countries are struggling to find alternatives to import dependence on petrol and diesel. For example, India imports 87% of its crude oil and this is the main reserve currency expenditure for the country. With transportation accounting for almost a quarter of global carbon emissions, there have been renewed efforts to accelerate the sector’s decarbonization, with several countries announcing battery production and electric vehicle policies and legacy automakers now thriving. Entering the EV sector. But some modes of transportation, such as aviation, shipping and long-haul trucking, will have a harder time reducing carbon emissions than self-driving cars or motorcycles. This is where some experts believe 2G ethanol could be a valuable alternative. The Hindu

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