The Advantages of Biofuels over Fossil Fuels

November 13, 2013

There are plenty of green cars, but cars that run on biofuels are unique. Learn about the 4 principle advantages of biofuels.

Biofuel vs. Other Fuels

There are many advantages of biofuels over fossil fuels that make the alternative fuel source an attractive option now and in the future. Biofuels have been in production for the last few decades and have really begun to take off with the awareness of global warming going around the world. Here are some of the benefits of biofuels over fossil fuels.

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  • Lower emissions. One of the biggest knocks against fossil fuels is that they give off toxic emissions. These pollutants, called greenhouse gases, trap the sun rays inside our atmosphere. This causes global warming. Biofuels do not release as much carbon as fossil fuels do, and because of this, there are fewer harmful emissions out of biofuels.
  • Renewable. Being made from organic materials, and even organic waste, there is practically an infinite amount of biofuels available. We can grow it ourselves by producing corn, which is currently the product most used to make biofuel. Not to mention, using waste means we don't need to lose energy getting rid of our waste, but reverse the process and make sure we get all the energy out of it that we can. This may be one of the biggest reasons that biofuels are getting more popularity.
  • Biodegradable. Biofuels are made out of organic substances, which are biodegradable. These fuels are much less toxic in the event that something happens like the oil spills that occur, whether it be the Exxon Valdez spill or the one in the Gulf of Mexico. These spills are made worse due to the fact that it is oil. If these spills were of biofuels, they would break down naturally, and the environment would not be affected nearly as much.
  • Safer. Finding these fossil fuels in the earth is dangerous. There is drilling, mining and other activities that are done to get to traditional oil reserves. There is not as much danger when you just need to grow the biofuels on a farm.

Biofuel Companies to Follow

About 30 percent of the top 50 or so biofuel companies in the world are working with algae biofuels. Some huge companies, including Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil are investing in this fast emerging biofuel. Here is a list of some top companies and how they view biofuel development.

  • Sapphire Energy. Based in California, this company is working on algae based biofuels using only CO2 (carbon dioxide) and sunlight. This biofuel has a low carbon footprint is price competitively and works with current energy infrastructures. This process does not use food crops or farm land. Sapphire Energy thinks ethanol, biodiesel, crops and sugar cane are all processes that impact food prices while green crude production does not.
  • Amythis Technologies. This is a California based renewable products company using unique platforms involving synthetic biology. Amythis has proprietary technologies that transforms and reprograms microorganisms into molecules for use in energy, chemicals and other applications.
  • Virent. Established in 2002 and based in Madison, Wisconsin, Virent is working in concert with Cargill Ventures and several other leading investment companies. They have well over 100 patent applications. Virent has worked with companies providing investment resources in developing biogasoline, hydrogen, bio jet fuel and sugar based diesel. Virent, a very resourceful company, plans well by getting necessary funding for projects before implementing procedures for development.
  • Origin Oil. Based in Los Angeles, California, Origin Oil is developing biofuels from algae, ethanol, diesel and biobutanol. Origin Oil has filed patents for a process flow system to cultivate algae. It is integrated within a bioreactor and it aids the growth of algae and the extraction of oil. The modular design of the units allows Origin Oil to connect the bioreactors to the extraction units to create scale economics and greater production of algae oil.
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