Origins of biofuel
Biofuel originated in tropical countries such as Brazil, India, Cambodia and Mexico. These countries needed an alternative fuel which can replace regular fuel, due to the lack of oil and gas sources and their economic challenges. Sustainable biofuels are derived from crops like sugar cane, oilseed rape, palm oil, wheat, and maize. It has been discovered that these crops can be treated to produce fuels like biodiesel and ethanol. Scientists originating from these countries have found that plants can be used to produce fuel, which means that the initial purpose of sustainable biofuel was more economic than environmental. Bio sustainable fuels have proved to be possible to create and use; however, developing technologies that would make bio-sustainable fuels reliable enough to use in an industry, like the airplane industry or manufacturing, took a lot of time.
Development of sustainable biofuel technology
The production of sustainable biofuel dates all the way back to the 1970’s when it was originally produced in Brazil. It was derived from sugar cane as a means for the Brazilian government to deal with the oil crisis. Over the years, bio-sustainable fuels have been produced in several other countries, like Cambodia, India, and Mexico. In India and Africa, BSF was produced from a crop called Jatropha, which is considered a highly desirable crop for its ability to grow in terrains where other crops can’t.
The production of sustainable biofuel raised the attention of the United Nations in 2009. The organization published its findings of the benefits (almost 60% less hazardous gas emission than other fuels) but also its concerns (competitive to food industry, etc.).
The organization called “The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels” released in 2008 its proposed standards for the production of SBF, which was meant to regulate the ethics of BSF production and release any concerns.
As of 2011, when Yale University released research results showing many benefits of using BSF in e airplane industry, International Fuels Standards have allowed airlines to use up to 50% BSF blended with jet fuel.
In 2014, $7.7 million was awarded from the FAA to companies that are dedicated to the development of bio-sustainable fuel.
Crop growing and financial benefits
Cultivating crops needed for the production of biofuel is often viewed as competitive to the food industry. Issues also get brought up about ethics in cultivating these crops. However, communities where the most popular crops are used to produce sustainable biofuel have brought many financial benefits to these communities, as well as employment. Experts agree that the most appropriate crops for cultivation would be Harghopha, Sweet Sorghum and PongamiaPinnata. These crops require very little labor and investment while the benefits they bring are significant in terms of economic progress.
Fears and insecurities
Throughout the development of sustainable biofuel technology, some issues have frequently been brought up. First of all, it is considered that cultivating crops for the production of BSF may compete with the food industry, which could result with fewer food supplies. Again, human labor is one of the most important fears, as it has much to do with the ethical aspects of introducing these copies.