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ENVS1000_013_April23_Sandlin - Alex Sandlin TA James...

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Alex Sandlin TA - James Meldrum 1000.013 Are Biofuels an Adequate Solution to Climate Change? Gas prices are higher than ever. The climate is continually changing more intensely each season. The world’s population is basically at maximum capacity, directly impacting the world’s food supply. Is there any chance that gasoline, climate change and the food supply are all related? Absolutely. More specifically, alternative fuels have evolved in hopes of replacing the oil (gasoline) and creating problems for the world’s food supply. These alternatives to oil are known as biofuels. The most common of these biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel. Although these biofuels were created to solve the drastic change in climate, I believe that these biofuels are causing more damage to the environment than they are supposed to solve. Before I get too heavy into problems with biofuels, some background information needs to first be established. Fossil fuels, such as petroleum and coal are non-renewable sources of energy. But since gasoline has become so scarce, alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel have been created. Biofuels that are created from crops that typically burn as cleaner fuel. “Ethanol is an alcohol product produced from con sorghum, potatoes, wheat sugar cane, even biomass such as cornstalks and vegetable waste. When combined with gasoline, it increases octane levels while also promoting more complete fuel burning that educes harmful tailpipe emissions such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. Ethanol contains 35% oxygen. Adding oxygen to fuel results in more complete fuel combustion, thus reducing harmful tailpipe emissions. Ethanol also displaces the use of toxic gasoline components such as benzene, a carcinogen” (McIntire-Strasburg 2006). “Biodiesel is a domestic, renewable fuel for diesel engines derived from natural oils like soybean oil, and which meets the specification of ASTM D 6751. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel to have fully completed the health effects testing
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Alex Sandlin TA - James Meldrum 1000.013 requirements of the Clean Air Act.
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