How does the use of biofuel help agriculture


The use of such sustainable energy in agriculture allows farmers to not only reduce costs but also to generate long-term sources of income. Growing Biofuel Crops Biofuels


A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary biological processes, such as agriculture and anaerobic digestion, rather than a fuel produced by geological processes such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as coal and petroleum, from prehistoric biol…

replace fossil fuels by using recently harvested plants; oilseed production for biofuels


A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary biological processes, such as agriculture and anaerobic digestion, rather than a fuel produced by geological processes such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as coal and petroleum, from prehistoric biol…

typically involves such plants as camelina, canola and sunflowers.

Biofuel feedstocks include many crops that would otherwise be used for human consumption directly, or indirectly as animal feed. Diverting these crops to biofuels may lead to more land area devoted to agriculture, increased use of polluting inputs, and higher food prices.Apr 14, 2022


How will biofuels affect the future of Agriculture?

However, growing any crop, including those that are drought resistant, on land with low levels of water and nutrient inputs will result in lower yields. It is therefore likely that biofuels will intensify the pressure on the fertile lands where higher returns can be realised.

Why do we need biofuels?

So biofuels are being called upon to achieve a reduction in both our dependence on foreign oil and the carbon footprint of transportation fuels. How this will be achieved is uncertain at this time. More research and analysis are required to adequately address this issue.

How do biofuels reduce pollutant emissions?

Biofuels may reduce some pollutant emissions. Ethanol, in particular, can ensure complete combustion, reducing carbon monoxide emissions (US EPA 2010). It is important to note that biofuel production and consumption, in and of itself, will not reduce GHG or conventional pollutant emissions,…

What crops are used to make biofuels?

Background First generation biofuels are made from sugar crops (sugarcane, sugarbeet), starch crops (corn, sorghum), oilseed crops (soybean, canola), and animal fats. Sugar and starch crops are converted through a fermentation process to form bioalcohols, including ethanol, butanol, and propanol.


What are the benefits of biofuels?

7 Hidden Benefits of Using BiofuelEnergy Efficiency. One of the primary benefits of using biodiesel is energy efficiency. … Reducing Foreign Oil Dependency. … Health Benefits. … Positive Economic Impact. … Reducing Greenhouse Gases. … Sustainability. … High-Quality Engine Performance.

What are the benefits of growing biofuels on agricultural land?

Beyond reducing carbon emissions from fuel, growing biofuels on abandoned farmland may have other, subtler benefits as well—such as creating new income sources for rural populations, and increasing the amount of carbon captured by plants in the soils of formerly vacant farmland.

How does biofuel help agriculture and reduce air pollution?

Biodiesel is nontoxic and biodegradable. Compared to petroleum diesel fuel, which is refined from crude oil, biodiesel combustion produces fewer air pollutants such as particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons, and air toxics.

How does biofuel help the environment?

Using biodiesel lowers particulate matter by 47%, reduces hydrocarbon emissions by up to 67%, and reduces smog. It’s environmental benefits don’t stop there. The production of biodiesel, in lieu of petroleum diesel, reduces wastewater by 79% and hazardous waste by 96%.

What are biofuels advantages and disadvantages?

Biofuels are fuels made from plant materials….Advantages and disadvantages of biofuel.AdvantagesDisadvantagesLess carbon emissions. When burned, they release as much carbon as they absorbed during growth, although some carbon dioxide will be released during production, eg by the tractor.Needs a lot of labour.2 more rows

What are some pros and cons of biofuels?

What are the Disadvantages of Biofuels?Pros of BiofuelsCons of BiofuelsGreen energy -comes from natural sourcesNot enough land space to grow crops to generate biofuelsRenewable form of energy- constantly replenished by natureGlobal decline in food production-As more land is directed towards biomass production11 more rows•May 23, 2022

How do biofuels reduce pollution?

Biodiesel sharply reduces major tailpipe pollutants, particularly from older diesel vehicles, when compared to petroleum. Using it in place of fossil fuels cuts particulate matter and hydrocarbon emissions by nearly half. Biodiesel is free from sulfur and aromatic hydrocarbons, which are known to impact health.

Are biofuels more environmentally friendly?

Biofuels may have fewer effects on the enviroment than fossil fuels. Production and use of biofuels is considered by the U.S. government to have fewer or lower negative effects on the environment compared to fossil-fuel derived fuels.

How does biofuel reduce global warming?

When we use bioethanol instead of gasoline, we help reduce atmospheric CO2 in three ways: (1) we avoid the emissions associated with gasoline; (2) we allow the CO2 content of the fossil fuels to remain in storage; and (3) we provide a mechanism for CO2 absorption by growing new biomass for fuels.

Are biofuels good or bad?

While biofuels produced from agricultural crops can generate less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fossil fuels, in practice, scientists are finding that some are causing environmental problems. Biofuels may also be hurting the poor. The reason is largely economic.

Do biofuels reduce greenhouse gases?

MYTH: In terms of emissions, biofuels emit the same amount as gasoline or more. FACT: Biofuels burn cleaner than gasoline, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and are fully biodegradable, unlike some fuel additives. Cellulosic ethanol has the potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 86%.

Is biofuel clean energy?

Biodiesel is a liquid fuel produced from renewable sources, such as new and used vegetable oils and animal fats and is a cleaner-burning replacement for petroleum-based diesel fuel. Biodiesel is nontoxic and biodegradable and is produced by combining alcohol with vegetable oil, animal fat, or recycled cooking grease.

What will happen to agriculture in the new environment?

In the new environment described above, U.S. agriculture’s place on the national and international stage will become much more pronounced. Agriculture and the decisions made in the industry will come under intense scrutiny. Our detractors will be more powerful and more forceful. To be successful, we will need to learn how to effectively navigate and function with this new prominence. It will require a new set of skills.

How will the energy industry affect grain prices?

As the energy industry’s dependence on bio-fuels increases, the impact of the energy industry on bio-fuels will increase. A whole new set of factors will have a direct impact on grain prices. Crude oil pricing decisions by Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia and other exporting countries will have a direct impact on U.S. grain prices. Terrorism and other crude oil supply disruptions will impact grain prices.

What happens if we have more acres of corn?

However, if we have more acres of corn, it means we have fewer acres of something else. And a shortage of the other crop will drive up the price of that crop. Expanding corn acreage in the Corn Belt will reduce soybean acreage. Reduced soybean acreage will drive up the price of soybeans.

How will grain prices change?

In this new environment, grain prices will be influenced by both food and energy demand factors. The demand from the food sector is relatively stable. Changes in demand are driven by changes in population, consumer incomes and consumer tastes and preferences, all of which change slowly. A stable food industry has led to relatively stable crop prices over recent decades. By contrast, the energy industry is going through a period of monumental change, leading to uncertainty and rapid changes in supply and demand conditions. This will lead to volatile energy prices which in turn will lead to volatile grain prices.

What are the factors that affect grain production?

Currently there are a number of bullish factors impacting U.S. grain production. Poor crop conditions in many parts of the world are pushing up wheat prices. The decline in the value of the U.S. dollar is stimulating foreign demand for our grains. The rapidly expanding economies in other parts of the world (e.g. China and India) are stimulating this demand further. So, many factors in addition to bio-fuels are creating a bidding war for limited U.S. grain supplies.

Why is land a residual claimant of profits?

Because land is the limited resource in producing grains, it becomes the residual claimant of profits. Farmers bid aggressively to expand their land base and farmland rental rates rise to the point where grain farmer’s profits are reduced to levels in existence before the grain price rise.

How many masters will agriculture serve?

Instead of serving just one master (food production) agriculture will be serving two masters (food and fuel production). Although the actual role agriculture will play in supplying energy is still uncertain, a significant contribution by agriculture will require a major change in the agriculture sector.

How many jobs does bioethanol have?

In addition, the bioethanol industry is said to have created70 000 direct and indirect jobs since the EU introduced its biofuels policy, while thebiodiesel sector has generated 220 000 direct and indirect jobs in the EU biodiesel production.

Is biofuels good for Europe?

There is another very important positive impact of biofuels production in the EU – the production of protein feed as a by-product. Europe is still dependent for 70% of soybean meal imports to meet its growing livestock demand.

Is palm oil a biofuel?

EU origin biofuels are thus clearly different from palm oil, whose expansion has been a main driver for deforestation and peat land degradation in South East Asia. The EU has just adopted a revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED2) that aims at curbing deforestation due to the production of high risk biofuels like palm oil for use in EU biofuels.

What are the advantages of biofuels?

From the standpoint of human-released carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gas emissions, and contributions to climate change biofuels have one large advantage over gasoline, diesel and other fossil fuels: The feedstocks for biofuels are part of the above-ground carbon cycle. Unlike petroleum or coal, the soybeans, corn, switchgrass and other biological materials that are made into biofuels are not dug up from underground, nor do they release long-stored carbon as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned. Instead, when biofuels are burned, carbon dioxide they recently captured is release back into the atmosphere.

How does biofuel impact the environment?

Various efforts have begun to evaluate the sustainability of biofuel production systems. For example, some groups are working to create third-party certification standards, reflecting a growing awareness that there are great differences among the greenhouse gas footprints and other environmental and social impacts of biofuels. In one extreme and widely publicized example, the clearing and burning of rainforests for oil palm plantations in Indonesia is alleged to have caused enormous releases of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as well as other serious environmental problems. At the other end of the spectrum, fuel made from waste vegetable oil or spoiled grain typically causes few concerns.

How does biofuel affect the atmosphere?

Other researchers have called these results into question, however. (See, for example, Pimentel and Patzek, 2005.) Despite these different views, it is clear that biofuels are most likely to contribute to greenhouse gas reductions if they are produced with a minimum of fossil energy inputs and without significant land use changes.

How much carbon is released by burning fossil fuels?

Burning fossil fuels adds about 5.5 GtC of carbon per year into the atmosphere. Carbon released by burning biofuels is partly balanced by carbon fixed during biofuel feedstock growth. NASA image

What are fossil fuels used for?

For example, fossil fuels that release carbon dioxide are used in farming, fertilizer production, transportation and many aspects of biofuel processing during the full life cycle of most biofuels.

What is the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance?

Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance — This Texas-based organization promotes environmental, social and economic sustainability of biodiesel. They aim to create certification for sustainability in biodiesel.

How does land use change?

In an ideal world this might all be true. But in the real world, land use change is driven by complex economic, social and political forces. Productivity is only one factor.

How does biofuel affect crop prices?

Economic models show that biofuel use can result in higher crop prices, though the range of estimates in the literature is wide. For example, a 2013 study found projections for the effect of biofuels on corn prices in 2015 ranging from a 5 to a 53 percent increase (Zhang et al. 2013). The National Research Council’s (2011) report on the RFS included several studies finding a 20 to 40 percent increase in corn prices from biofuels during 2007 to 2009. A National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) working paper found a 2 to 3 percent increase in long-run corn prices for each billion gallon increase in corn ethanol production on average across 19 studies (Condon et al. 2013). Higher crop prices lead to higher food prices, though impacts on retail food in the US are expected to be small (NRC 2011). Higher crop prices may lead to higher rates of malnutrition in developing countries (Rosegrant et al. 2008, Fischer et al. 2009).

What are the economics of biofuels?

Economics of Biofuels. Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels—fuels produced from renewable organic material— has the potential to reduce some undesirable aspects of fossil fuel production and use, including conventional and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutant emissions, exhaustible resource depletion, and dependence on unstable foreign suppliers.

How many gallons of biofuel will be produced by 2022?

EISA expanded the Renewable Fuel Standard to increase biofuel production to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Of the latter goal, 21 billion gallons must come from cellulosic biofuel or advanced biofuels derived from feedstocks other than cornstarch. To limit GHG emissions, the Act states that conventional renewable fuels (corn starch ethanol) …

What is a second generation biofuel?

Second generation biofuels, or cellulosic biofuels, are made from cellulose, which is available from non-food crops and waste biomass such as corn stover, corncobs, straw, wood, and wood byproducts. Third generation biofuels use algae as a feedstock. Commercial cellulosic biofuel production began in the US in 2013, …

What are biofuels made of?

First generation biofuels are made from sugar crops (sugarcane, sugarbeet), starch crops (corn, sorghum), oilseed crops (soybean, canola), and animal fats. Sugar and starch cro ps are converted through a fermentation process to form bioalcohols, including ethanol, butanol, and propanol. Oils and animal fats can be processed into biodiesel. Ethanol is the most widely used bioalcohol fuel. Most vehicles can use gasoline-ethanol blends containing up to 10 percent ethanol (by volume). Flexible fuel vehicles can use E85, a gasoline-ethanol blend containing up to 85 percent ethanol. There were more than 2300 E85 fueling stations located throughout the US in 2013 (US Department of Energy).

What is the most widely used bioalcohol fuel?

Ethanol is the most widely used bioalcohol fuel. Most vehicles can use gasoline-ethan ol blends containing up to 10 percent ethanol (by volume). Flexible fuel vehicles can use E85, a gasoline-ethanol blend containing up to 85 percent ethanol.

Is biofuels good for the economy?

Potential economic benefits of biofuel production. Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels has the potential to generate a number of benefits. In contrast to fossil fuels, which are exhaustible resources, biofuels are produced from renewable feedstocks. Thus, their production and use could, in theory, be sustained indefinitely.

How does biofuel affect biodiversity?

Biofuel production can affect wild and agricultural biodiversity in some positive ways, for instance through the restoration of degraded lands, but many of its impacts will be negative, for example when natural landscapes are converted into energy-crop plantations or peatlands are drained.

How does biofuel affect water quality?

Producing more biofuel crops will also affect water quality. For example, converting pastures or woodlands into maize fields may increase problems of soil erosion and runoff of excess nitrogen and phosphorous into surface and groundwaters. Pesticides and other chemicals can also wash into waterbodies. Of the principal feedstocks, maize is the one requiring the greatest amount of fertilizer and pesticides per hectare. More…

How does genetic diversity affect crops?

Such low levels of genetic diversity increase the susceptibility of crops to new pests and diseases.

What are some ways to improve soil quality?

The use of perennial plants that can be harvested over several years such as palm, short-rotation coppice, sugar cane or switchgrass can also improve soil quality by increasing soil cover and organic carbon levels compared with annual crops like rapeseed, maize or other cereals.

How can we improve the biodiversity of farmland?

For existing arable land, positive impacts on farmland biodiversity can be obtained by using crops which increase soil cover, avoiding tillage and reducing fertilizer and pesticide inputs.

How does conversion of forest or grassland affect biodiversity?

Conversion of forest or grassland for crop production has a significant effect on wild biodiversity, because of the loss of habitat. Many current biofuel crops are well suited for tropical areas, and this creates an economic incentive to convert natural ecosystems into plantations causing a loss of wild biodiversity in these areas.

How much of the crop residues from grasses can be harvested without detrimental effects on soil quality?

Only 25 to 33% of available crop residues from grasses or maize can be harvested without detrimental effects on soil quality, especially on soil organic content.


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