As the human race continues to advance and set new milestones, it is becoming more important than ever to find alternative, cleaner forms of energy. The dangers to the environment from the more conventional forms of energy generation are now more evident than ever before. Instead of destroying our environment to fulfill mankind’s energy demands, we should look towards our environment and utilize it to fulfill our needs. Nature holds immense potential and holds the key to the longevity of the human race. In such circumstances, biofuel emerges as the answer to many of our problems and demands.
A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through natural, biological processes rather than a fuel produced by geological processes such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels. Now widely known, the world’s fossil fuel reserves are rapidly running out. In such conditions, energy security holds great importance and home-grown fuel sources are more important than ever. ‘Biofuel’ is a broad term, encompassing many biologically produced energy sources or fuels. Biofuels can be derived directly from plants, or indirectly from agricultural, commercial, domestic, and/or industrial wastes.
Ethanol, or bioethanol, produced by the anaerobic respiration of microorganisms such as yeast is a potent energy source which may be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form but it is usually used as a gasoline additive to increase octane and improve vehicle emissions.
There are acres of cultivable land on Earth and many biofuels, for instance, algae, can be cultivated in the oceans which cover 71% of the Earth's surface
Another excellent and emerging way to produce biofuels is algae farming. Algae, or microalgae, are very small aquatic organisms grown in ponds at such farms that convert sunlight into energy. Some of these algae store energy in the form of natural oils. Under the right conditions, algae can make a lot of oil that can be converted into biofuels. Algae could potentially produce up to 60 times more oil per acre than land-based plants and prove to be the best source of biofuels, in the long run.
With thriving and robust economies such as New Zealand and India investing in biofuel and its resources, it is time for the whole world to look into biofuel as an alternative option as it might hold the key to a greener and safer future.