Matter of Fuel

Fuel has been and still is a subject to fuel a lengthy debate. As we know Fuel is generally defined as something from which we can obtain energy. So, energy fuels were mainly classified into three — coal, oil and firewood. Wood can be termed as a renewable source of energy and that is described as its advantage comparing with coal and oil. As coal and oil cannot be renewed by human efforts, availability of these two energy sources is limited to the existing resources. Policymakers across the world have been worried about the dire consequences in the event of shortage of energy sources like oil and coal. At the same time environmentalists pointed out the horrifying pace of pollution and invited attention of the governments and people to this. Apart from atmosphere even oceans and waterways are polluted by coal and oil. All these compelled scientists and nations to explore for alternative energy sources. Obviously attention was focused on hydel power, solar power, atomic power, wind energy and garbage energy. Forests are included in the group of renewable source of energy as they regenerate naturally or can be regenerated by human efforts without much difficulty.

In this context biofuels also get a prominent place. They offer plant-based solutions to our growing energy problems. To put in simple words, any hydro carbon fuel which is produced from organic matter (living or once living material) in a short period of time is considered biofuel. As fossil fuels take millions of years to form, biofuels are considered as a good alternative source of energy and are gaining popularity.
But, experts warn that unless making fuel from crops like wheat, maize, sugarcane etc are not restricted, consequences would be disastrous. Growing the crops for biofuel, making fertilizers and pesticides for those crops and processing the plants into fuel consume a lot of energy.
Even though the aim and intention of biofuel policy is good, once the profit motive comes to play, everything will go beyond control. That may adversely affect the environment with far reaching consequences. Apart from that, when majority of the world population is starving, the righteousness of growing crops for fuel, would fuel another debate.

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