Crude oil continues to remain the main source of fuels like gasoline and diesel. Countries like the U.S. spend over $151 billion every year for the same. Out of this, over 60% of the expenses are routed to overseas countries from where the crude oil is shipped.
The increasing demand for crude oil around the world has led to a situation where even adding new sources will not be enough for the future. As such, the need for an alternative domestic fuel source has increased to a large extent over the past few years, with many countries considering it as the best possible way to strengthen the economy and national security in addition to reducing the environmental problems usually caused by crude oil derived fuels.
What is Biofuel?
Biofuel happens to be the best possible alternative to crude oils in the present day scenario. Derived from animals fats, soybean oils, reused cooking oils and other forms of feedstock, biofuel is a clean burning diesel that is renewable and less harmful on the environment. Domestically produced biofuels adhere to strict EPA guidelines, making them highly safe for use in vehicles, homes and other commercial establishments.
Advantages of Biofuel
Biofuel has many advantages over standard crude oil. For one, it is definitely eco-friendly due to the fact that it is made from renewable resources that have reduced emissions. It is biodegradable and less toxic as well. It can be produced domestically, thus revitalizing local economies by providing local jobs. Biofuels need minimum treatment to be used in existing diesel engines without any issues. Last but not the least, it helps consumers save plenty in terms of fuel for their vehicles as it is much cheaper than the latter.
Growth in Biofuel Plants worldwide
The increased importance to biofuel has led to the rise of several biofuel plants around the world over the past few years. The production of biofuels has also seen a significant increase from the 2000s (25 million gallons), with a record 1.1 billion gallons of biofuel produced in 2012.
Considering the fact that countries like the U.S. require about 40 billion gallons of fuel every year for transportation alone, this may look like a bleak figure. But with increasing number of biofuel plants and advanced technology, the industry could very well takeover nearly 10% of the diesel transportation market in the next few years.
For a country like the U.S. attaining this goal would translate to a reduced dependency on imported crude oil. This, in turn, would have a profound, positive impact on national security. The U.S. would no longer need to worry much about global oil markets or the price spikes in the same. In addition to reducing the country’s trade deficit, it would give rise to local jobs and boost the local economy to great heights.
Currently, there are over 200 biodiesel plants located all over the country that produce over 3 billion gallons of biofuels every year. The booming industry has led to the rise of over 62000 jobs in varied arenas from agriculture and manufacturing to transportation and service. This would eventually boost the nation’s average household income, tax revenues and GDP by billions of dollars. Continued production of biofuels would only see an increased growth in the coming years.
Potential for more Growth
Currently, biofuel is produced from a range of resources. The number of resources added to the list has only increased in recent years. This, in turn, has transformed an otherwise nimble industry in search of new feedstock and technologies, into a booming trade that has moved on t to adapt next generation feedstock like camelina and algae for biofuel production. As such, one can only expect these biofuels to become a mainstay in the next few years, replacing at least a small portion of the petroleum derived fuels the world depends on today.
Biofuels are strongly being considered as replacements for fuel driven power. These renewable energy sourceshave all the necessary traits to replace crude oil in the coming years.