Environmental Quality and Biofuels

572 WordsFeb 26, 20182 Pages
Environmental Quality The use of biofuels as mandated by RFS.2 has a net positive impact on environmental quality. One of the key reasons for the adoption of this program was to provide an alternative to fossil fuels that could offer better energy efficiency and lower green house gas emissions. The environmental quality has been analyzed through four criteria much like in the report by Ackom, Mabee and Saddler (2010). These are: Greenhouse gas emissions, Energy use, Water use and Land Use Change. Energy use: In their report Ackom, Mabee and Saddler (2010) state that the energy use is primarily defined by the electric energy that goes into the bioconversion process. This analysis considers efficiency in production and manufacturing process. According to this, biofuels (both 1st and 2nd generations) are reducing considerable amount of energy used in the extraction and manufacturing process as compared to non-renewable resources. Roughly evaluated values of energy saving of some of the common biofuels are noted as follows (relative to fossil fuels): sugarcane (89%), switch grass (85%), wood (82%), soybean (45%), corn (43%), wheat (42%). These figures are very promising and continue to ameliorate as technology, and research and development improves. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: When tested to compare the GHG emissions, biofuels preform much better than conventional fuels. However, within the biofuel spectrum there is a range of efficiencies. For example, the according to
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