World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10 August to create awareness about non-conventional sources of energy that can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels. World Biofuel Day also remembers the research experiments done by Sir Rudolf Diesel, who in the year 1893 ran an engine with peanut oil, giving hope to the world that biofuels could replace traditional fossil fuels in the future .
Conventional sources of energy that include fossil fuels are limited in quantity and take thousands of years to form. Additionally, their use has left many environmental degradations over the years. Hence developing alternative energy sources is the need of the hour and biofuels can be a good option to explore. Here’s why biofuels are important:
- low emission
Research conducted by the National Library of Medicine shows that the particulate matter of biofuels is smaller in size, and less in volume. This results in cleaner emissions and reduces air pollution caused by their use.
- easily available
Compared to other alternative fuel options, biofuels are readily available and have less geography. Biofuels can be stored, burned and pumped in the same way as petroleum diesel fuel. They can be used in pure forms or can be easily mixed.
Unlike conventional fossil fuels, which can take thousands of years to form, biofuels can be manufactured as needed.
- better energy balance
The cost involved in biofuels is low as compared to other sources like petrol and diesel. Biofuels also have a better energy balance, which is the ratio of how much energy is needed to produce, manufacture and distribute, compared to the amount of energy released when the fuel is burned.
India has taken several initiatives over the years to promote the consumption of biofuels. The country’s National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, talks of an indicative target of 20% ethanol blending with petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel with diesel by 2030.
The policy amendment, made in 2022, allows more feedstocks to produce biofuels and adds new members to the NBCC (National Biofuel Coordination Committee).