Clean Living: What are the Pro’s and Con’s of the Biofuel Industry and the Global Impact?
For those who are interested in making an impact on the environment and embracing clean living, one of the most effective starting points can be found in the types of fuel we utilize. Biofuel in particular has gotten a lot of press in recent years as being a viable eco-friendly alternative to energy sources such as oil, yet many people don’t know very much about this type of fuel or how it works.
Here are some of the pros and cons associated with biofuel, which will give you a better idea as to whether or not this clean living option is for you.
There are plenty of “pros” associated with biofuel, which is perhaps why it has gotten so popular in recent years. It’s a suitable substitute in any scenario where diesel fuel may be used, such as oil-fired heating systems, generators, marine vessels and more. The soybean oil portion of biofuel is nontoxic and biodegradable, free of sulfur and resulting in cleaner storage tanks than those associated with other forms of fuel. One of the main reasons that people move in the direction of biofuel is that it can help to reduce greenhouse gases and carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, which means biofuel is better for the environment than other options.
Because it burns so clean, biofuel also reduces the amount of tune-ups you’ll need on a yearly basis. Clearly, it’s one of the best clean living types of fuel to choose if you’re looking to move away from oil or diesel.
On the other hand, the international oil companies have a premium on the industry, and have done everything they can to make the global community dependent on oil for their revenue empire. Because they have the majority of the world’s monies, the research on things like biofuel and alternative sources are not funded nor researched as much as needed.
However, there are many mavericks, sustainable companies and individuals like Elon Musk who are making a difference in the way we view and utilize alternative energy. They are the heroes who are changing the world from dependence on oil to alternative resources that are environmentally-friendly.
While biofuel comes along with plenty of benefits, it’s not a perfect clean living option. It can be quite a bit more costly than other fuel sources—as much as 20 cents more per gallon than traditional diesel fuel. The emissions benefits of biofuel—while still there—aren’t quite as dramatic as they once were, as today’s low-emission engines are capable of similar results without the need to run biofuel. Some biofuel is also produced from feedstocks characterized by high levels of fatty acids (tallow and lard, for example), which can freeze and crystallize in tanks, resulting in clogged fuel filters. Finally, the lack of American Society for Testing and Materials standards puts biofuel behind the alternatives in terms of stringent guidelines, which many industry leaders believe is the next step.
The Bottom Line
There are a few things to take into consideration if you’re interested in potentially making the switch to biofuel. For one, those who are on a budget may find that affording this particular type of fuel is easier said than done and that the benefits aren’t worth the added cost. Others, however, are primarily concerned with lowering their impact on the environment, in which case moving in the direction of biofuel can make sense. In the end, the decision comes down to your current needs and financial abilities, both of which can play a major role in whether or not biofuel is right for you.
We’re working on building a sustainable community at Heal Estate to provide helpful information for those who wish to move towards alternative energy sources. For more information, visit our website and browse our many articles on clean living today.