Publication Date : 01/08/2009

Author(s) :

Rufai, I. A..

Volume/Issue :
Volume 4
Issue 2
(08 - 2009)

Abstract :

The paper is a review of the benefits of renewable fuels in general and a study of the environmental impacts of biofuels in particular. An attempt has been made to show that the use of biofuels may not be environmen-tally friendly as is being portrayed by their advocates. It is a fact that energy generation using fossil fuels produces many important pollutants including nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, dust, soot, smoke, and other particulate matter. It is believed that if carbon dioxide levels continue to increase, the planet will become warmer and will most likely result in a variety of impacts including sea-level rise, ex-treme weather events, and an increased frequency of droughts in inland agricultural zones. Biofuels such as alcohols, biogas, biodiesel and its esters appear to be a more viable alternative, especially for use as fuels in diesel engines. The replacement of fossil fuels through increased utilization of biofuels produced in a sustainable manner, can contribute towards a cleaner environment, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation of climate change. However, the mechanized agricultural production technology necessary for large scale production of energy crops is accompanied by intensive tillage and fertilizer application. This production system is not environmentally friendly in the real sense of the word, as it is characterized by potential threats of environmental pollution and degradation.

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