The negative effects of using biofuels

Some of the environmental risks might require exploratory assessment and subsequent monitoring to ensure that they do not become sustainability concerns if algal biofuel production is scaled up.

His team is continuing work in that area, setting up demonstration projects in the lab to test how well algae can grow using nutrients from wastewater.

Nutrient levels play a key role in determining the productivity and structure of the primary producing community in estuaries and coastal marine waters Deegan et al.

Uptake of pollutants by algae is not desirable if residual biomass is to be used for human cosmetic products or animal feed.

The science of global climate change indicates an overall warming trend for the earth as a whole in association with rising levels of GHGs. In areas where there is sufficient precipitation biomass yields may be close to yield potential. For more information on global warming and climate change see hereand here.

This is especially important when dealing with food crops. Inarea planted to maize in the United States of America increased by 19 percent Naylor et al. For example, increased maize production for ethanol in the central United States of America has displaced soybean on some existing cropland, which, in turn, may induce increased soybean production and conversion of grassland or forest land elsewhere.

That way, if the Russet potatoes suffer blight, we still have Yukon Gold or Red Thumb potatoes to turn to. Responsible commercialization of biofuels represents an opportunity to enhance sustainable economic prospects in Africa, Latin America and impoverished Asia.

Nitrogen N and other agronomic pollutants like phosphorous Pcan enter water resources through runoff and leaching.

Carbon dioxide can also be released by microbial decomposition of organic matter leading to release CO2 into atmosphere. Although the aggregate impacts of biofuels on food supply were found to be small, a drop on supply together with increase in prices of basic staples could be especially burdensome for poor urban households, particularly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

This should indicate that even though farmland sits unused, that does not mean that there is abundant food across the planet. After the biomass is converted into biodiesel and burned as fuel the energy and carbon is released again.

The vast majority of the increase in "at risk for hunger" individuals, if biofuel production increases, will occur in Eastern Asia, but there will still be 20 million people in "developed" countries who will be additionally put at risk.

Industrial wastewaters have lower nutrient concentrations and higher toxicant concentrations, and thus are less likely to be used to generate the algal biomass necessary for commercial-scale production of biofuels Pittman et al.

The ponds allow the growth of high-standing crops of algae, which remove nitrogen and phosphorus from the wastewater Sturm et al.

In the case of clearing of new land i.

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Ongoing controversy has surrounded production of crop-based biofuels, ostensibly for the purposes of increase renewable energy use and reducing carbon dioxide CO2 emissions that causes global warming. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation is so large that the benefits from lower emissions caused by biodiesel use alone would be negligible for hundreds of years.

Environmental impact of biodiesel

Biofuels policies thus need to be designed based on balancing costs and opportunities in specific countries, taking into account as well the impacts on global CO2 emissions. Eutrophication and other nutrient-related effects could be a concern for cultivation of microalgae or macroalgae in large suspended offshore enclosures for example, Honkanen and Helminen, Then, energy must be invested into harvesting the replanting the crop the next time around.

Associated reductions in the area devoted to soybean, wheat and other crops would raise prices and induce increased production in other countries. Released waters could be more saline than receiving waters, particularly if water from saline aquifers is used for algae cultivation.

Native ecosystems and managed ecosystems also provide many benefits which indirectly affect humans. Was this page useful? A number of analytical studies are beginning to assess the changes in land use to be expected from increased biofuel demand, but little empirical evidence is yet available on which to base predictions on how yields will be affected — either directly or indirectly — or how quickly.

If outdoor ponds are poorly lined or the lining fails as a result of wear, then seepage of the pond water into the local groundwater system could occur. The ultimate level of nutrient removal benefit may depend on the level of wastewater treatment that occurs prior to nutrient uptake in the algal cultivation systems and on the chemical and ecological conditions that exist in the wastewater-fed production system.

The net result is an even larger carbon debt. If the exported biomass is used to produce syngasthe process can be used to co-produce biochara low-temperature charcoal used as a soil amendment to increase soil organic matter to a degree not practical with less recalcitrant forms of organic carbon.

The expansion of biofuels would push up prices for many food staples; prices for corn and other major grains could rise by as much as 3 percent and the price of sugar by 8 percent.

10 Disadvantages of Biofuels

Salinization of groundwater is a potential problem for some agricultural lands where irrigation is prevalent Schoups et al. In addition, cutting forests to grow crops for biofuels adds to carbon emissions.

These differences in nutrient removal observed may be related, in part, to the different scales of the studies. However, integrity can be compromised by poor construction. It is unknown whether rare releases of culture water or the physical appearance of open ponds for algae cultivation could have negative effects on the social acceptability of algal biofuels.

The concept of adapting HRAPs for the purpose of biofuel production was proposed more than five decades ago Oswald and Golueke, Chapter 5, Section Key messages, p.The environmental impact of biodiesel is diverse.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Biofuels

Greenhouse gas emissions. Calculation of Calculating the carbon intensity of biofuels is a complex and inexact process, and is highly dependent on the assumptions made in the calculation. A calculation usually includes: however toxic effects such as hair loss and urinary discolouring. Biofuels and other forms of renewable energy aim to be carbon neutral or even carbon negative.

Carbon neutral means that the carbon released during the use of the fuel, e.g.

Issues relating to biofuels

through burning to power transport or generate electricity, is reabsorbed and balanced by the carbon absorbed by new plant growth. Bioenergy can have positive and negative ecological and environmental impacts, and the overall net impact can be either positive or negative.

Many of the ecological and environmental impacts of bioenergy are associated with land use and land use change in connection to biomass production. Algae production has some other negative environmental impacts, Clarens said. For one, to convert algae into fuel, producers centrifuge the algae-laden water to separate the two, and that takes "a.

Primary Advantages and Disadvantages of Biofuels. No fuel source is completely positive or completely negative. Consumers need to weigh the pros and cons of biofuels to determine whether they feel comfortable with this resource as an alternative to traditional fuels.

Unintended negative impacts on land, water and biodiversity count among the side-effects of agricultural production in general, but they are of particular concern with respect to biofuels.

Ecological and Environmental Impacts of Bioenergy Download
The negative effects of using biofuels
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