Have you ever sipped a beer or a glass of wine, taken the antibiotic penicillin, worn clothing made from polyester, or eaten packaged food from the supermarket? Chances are that you have, of course—but did you know that you were using products made possible by biotechnology?
Biotechnology has a huge impact on nearly every corner of the world. This extends to the fuels that power our earth, known as biofuels. Biofuels are designed to replace gasoline, coal, and diesel fuel, which are commonly known as fossil fuels. As opposed to fossil fuels (which are made from long-dead plants and animals), biofuels are mostly made from plants that have just been harvested.
Let’s delve into what biofuel technology is, how biofuels are made, and what the most beneficial applications of biofuel technology have been.
What is Biotechnology?
At its core, biotechnology is a merging of technology and biology. It’s typically broken down into a few separate disciplines, including agriculture, the medical industry, industrial processes, and marine processes. Humans have used biotechnology since the earliest days of civilization—the Chinese developed fermentation techniques for brewing, the Egyptians used yeasts to bake leavened bread, and the list goes on. Today, much of modern biotechnology deals with manipulating DNA, mostly in areas of agriculture, medicine—and industry.
What is Biofuel Technology?
Any fuels that have been extracted from plants and crops are known as biofuels. One of the most commonly extracted fuels is ethanol, which is blended with gasoline (this is the same stuff that’s in alcoholic drinks, except that it’s made from processed corn). There are many ways of making biofuels, though they all generally use fermentation and chemical reactions to break down the sugars and starches in other molecules. This, in turn, produces fuel for cars.
What Are the Major Benefits of Biofuel Technology?
Biofuel technology helps improve the earth in many ways, and biofuels have many advantages of other types of fuel. Here are the three biggest benefits of biofuel technology:
- It’s eco-friendly. Most importantly, biofuels help protect the planet from global warming by emitting less pollution than fossil fuels. It’s true: For those that want to decrease their dependence on fossil fuels, biofuels are a great alternative—they actually release fewer pollutants (like carbon dioxide) into the air. If you want to help cap the release of greenhouse gas, biofuels are definitely the way to go. In fact, DAR PRO Solutions actually uses repurposed cooking oil and meat byproducts to produce renewable biofuels, so this is a great endeavor to support if you care about the earth—and in 2019, none of us can afford not to care about the earth.
- It adds jobs to the economy. If more people use biofuels, this will create economic security within our own countries and communities (not every country has huge reserves of crude oil!) More jobs will be created within a biofuel industry if people choose biofuels over fossil fuels.
- It’s healthier. Emissions from fossil fuels make thousands of people sick with cancers and respiratory problems. Biofuels, on the other hand, generate less pollution and cancer-causing substances, making them a healthier option.
The Bottom Line As global warming continues to negatively impact our communities and gas prices continue to skyrocket, more people are looking to biofuel technology to make a difference. There are many advantages to using biofuels; they’re renewable and sustainable, and they have the potential to create a lasting positive economic and social impact on our world.