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At first glance, biofuel might seem to be the a decent solution to several of the developed world’s problems. Dwindling fossil fuel reserves, the high price of petrol and diesel, the constant pressure to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and the struggle to make a profit from farmland are all pressures which have resulted in a growing market for biofuel.


Marketed as a cheaper, cleaner alternative to most traditional fuels, biofuel can be made using several sources including the following:

  • Maize
  • Rapeseed
  • Corn
  • Sugarcane

The trade-off

a In theory, the carbon dioxide produced by the burning of biofuels is partially offset by the gas absorbed by the plants during growth, and in some cases the fuel itself produces less carbon dioxide per gram burned. This all seems like positive news, however the most commonly used biodiesels are derived from maize and rapeseed, which pollute 50% and 70% more greenhouse gas than fossil fuel. In addition, significant energy is needed to grow the crop, further reducing the benefits.


There are additional, more immediate and serious consequences of biofuel which driven by the economic benefits. On a global scale, farming is not very profitable (especially in less developed countries). The sudden demand for biodiesel has created an opportunity which is hard for traditional farmers to ignore. In addition, the demand is now so great that huge areas of rain forest are being cleared to make way for more farmland.


Do not believe the marketing campaigns – biofuels are doing lasting and serious damage to our already threatened planet. Please research this topic for yourself using credible independent sources. Help stop one of the greatest misunderstandings of this decade. If you want to help reduce carbon emission, cycle more or buy a low emission diesel such as the two cylinder Fiat 500 (which is also great fun to drive).

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