The great controversy of biofuels and carbon dioxide


Today biofuels are used for certain economic activities. The most used are the ethanol and biodiesel. It is understood that the carbon dioxide gas emitted by biofuel is fully balanced by the absorption of CO2 that occurs with photosynthesis in plants.

But it seems that this is not totally the case. According to a study by the University of Michigan Energy Institute directed by John DeCicco, the amount of heat retained by the CO2 emitted by the burning of biofuels is not in equilibrium with the amount of CO2 that plants absorb during the photosynthesis process as the crops grow.

The study was carried out based on data from the United States Department of Agriculture. Periods were analyzed in which biofuel production intensified and the absorption of carbon dioxide emissions from crops only offset the 37% of total CO2 emissions emitted by burning biofuels.

The findings of the Michigan studies clearly argue that the use of biofuel continues to increase the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere and not diminished as previously thought. Although the source of the CO2 emission comes from a biofuel such as ethanol or biodiesel, the net emissions into the atmosphere are more than those absorbed by the crop plants, therefore they continue to increase the effect of global warming.

John DeCicco said:

'This is the first study to carefully examine the carbon emitted on land where biofuels are grown, rather than making assumptions about it. When you look at what is actually happening on earth, you will find that not enough carbon that is removed from the atmosphere to balance what comes out of the tailpipe. "

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