Similar to the hypocrisy of fast food giants offering a healthy-choice menu, the fuel companies are also pushing for a greener, more environmentally friendly image with biofuels.
Although some initial research had suggested biofuels could cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 per cent, so far benefits from using biofuels are not what they are reported to be, and a new independent study has turned up the heat claiming biofuels are actually worse for the environment than standard fuel.
Nobel prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen led a team of researchers that concluded the growing and burning of many biofuels may actually raise rather than lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The researchers found that growing the more popular types of biofuel crops releases around twice the amount of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) than previously reported while most likely contributing to global warming.
Unfortunately for biofuel backers, this means there is no reason to abandon the traditional fossil fuel.
The significance of it is that the supposed benefits of biofuel are even more disputable than had been thought hitherto. What we are saying is that [growing many biofuels] is probably of no benefit and in fact is actually making the climate issue worse.' Keith Smith, a co-author on the paper from the University of Edinburgh, said.
Rapeseed biodiesel cause 1-1.7 times the N20 emissions compared to fossil C02 emissions, corn bioethanol is 0.9 to 1.5 times while cane sugar bioethanol which is mostly produced in Brazil is the only beneficial type with a relative warming of 0.5 to 0.9.
Source: Chemistry World