The Future of Biofuels- A global perspective

This article was a featured journal article from the USDA in 2007. It had some very interesting perspectives and information on the future and current condition of biofuels. According to the article, biofuels can be used in existing gasoline and diesel engines in blends of up to 10 percent in the case of ethanol and 20 percent for biodiesel with little or no engine modification. However, ethanol and biodiesel have lower energy content that that of gasoline and diesel, therefore a car will get fewer miles per gallon the greater the biofuels blend. Also, shipping ethanol requires expensive pipelines to prevent contamination. Furthermore, according to the University of Minnesota, even if we devoted all corn and soybean acreage for ethanol and biodiesel production, this would only compensate for 12 percent of gasoline and 6 percent of diesel. While most of the information that’s been provided has been drawbacks to biofuels, the article does say that increasing biofuels production can decrease greenhouse gas emissions, because 25% of greenhouse gas emissions is from road transportation. One interesting perspective they mentioned was that biofuel production will gain economic support as gas prices continue to increase.



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