Biomass

Fuel can also be made from waste, which we discuss separately later. The use of biofuels was encouraged under the carbon credit scheme, which is used or being set up in some countries (e.g., Brazil in 2020). When biomass which is burned for biofuels is grown with small carbon footprint, it actually isn’t a bad alternative.

Whereas we still release CO2 while burning them, this CO2 is sucked up by plants from the atmosphere, which means it is a part of the short-term carbon cycle. When new plants are grown, they will absorb the same released carbon. With fossil fuels, however, we release additional carbon, which is not part of the current carbon cycle. This carbon has been buried under the ground for a very long time, so we add more carbon to the current cycle.

Nevertheless, with the growing population and food demands, we have a restriction in the land area which is available to us. The land is used by occupying cities, forests, food crops, and cattle farms. To make space for biofuel growth, we need to remove one of the variables and do so progressively, as with more people we’d need more biofuel if consumption is to stay at the current rate.

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