Sustainability Trend Essay Sample
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Human beings are known to develop equipment and any other materials that make their lives easier and tolerable. From evolution, man has invented many tools and equipment’s so as to sustain life. this trend has been adhered to through all the centuries of human life. In this century, many things have come up and they either threaten the human race on the sustainability of human life on planet earth. One of the core things to sustain human lives is oil. Oil is used in all industries across the planet. Automobiles operate with the help of oil, machinery in industries work with the help of oil. Oil is one of the core things in human life that can really affect human life if it was not in abundant. Oil mining countries make a killing from mining oil. And in moments when the prices of oil get too high, human life becomes expensive. Transport charges are increased, prices of goods and services are increased too. Generally, life becomes expensive for people. Due to this, several steps have been taken into consideration so as to increase means of increasing oil supply for human consumption. The content of this paper looks at the rise in means of trying to create cellulosic fuels for human consumption.
Cellulosic fuels are fuels made from soy beans, corn and pal oil. Researchers have tried created these fuels for decade as an alternative of petroleum and gasoline but have hit a dead end for many decades now. Palm tree plantations have been set up in many places in Indonesia for the sole provision of oil, through massive burn down of rainforests. Due to this unforeseen demand for bio fuel, the European Union was forced to back down on ordering large quantities of bio oil. In 2007- 2008 when fuel prices hit the roof, another unexpected consequence was experienced because the need to have bio fuels and ethanol from corn created large competition for agricultural land. Due to this, prices of staple foods and global corn prices also increased. There was political unrest in developing countries, theft of food from farms and food-aid caravans (Madolyn 2). Export restrictions were also imposed on countries that were top on the list of growing countries. With the unseen fluctuations in the prices and production of fuels that has been experienced over the years, it is good thing to have bio fuels as a source of energy for man. Cellulosic biofuels are expected to be created from waste materials such as grass, corn stalk, wood waste and any other non-food products by the middle of the decade. If this happens, land and energy production will be balanced, and human life will be sustained.
Reason for many people in this research to favor the production of cellulosic fuels is because corn degrades the quality of the soil and water, simply because it requires water and fertilizer to grow. From many studies, though farmers are encouraged to use fertilizers in their farms, fertilizers have negative effects on the soil, especially if it is used in large quantities the quality of the soil deteriorates and in return, farmers cannot get the maximum returns from their farms. Corn also produces few tons of biomass per acre, which can be used for something sustainable (Madolyn 2). It is also good to note that ethanol from corn competes with crops that are cultivated for food. More to it and according to a study by University of Minnesota, ethanol from corn only contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emission by only 12% compared to gasoline.
On the other hand, most of the crops that will be used to produce cellulosic ethanol are scrubby trees or grasses, and native plants that do not rely on water and fertilizer to grow. One of the types of grasses that can be used in the production of celluos ethanol is the prairie grass, which grows up to 13 feet tall, and can be used to produce 15 tons of biomass per acre. According to JBEI scientists, this shows that the production of cellulosic ethanol from this type of grass is three times more than what corn can produce. If such crops are grown, it will be better off for the land rather than growing corn in great quantities for the sole production of cellulosic ethanol. This type of grass is also much better for the atmosphere since the production of cellulosic ethanol through burning of this grass will lead to the reaction of greenhouse emissions by 80%- 90% compared to gasoline. This still helps in showing that the emission of greenhouse gas from burning this type of grass is much less compared to gasoline and burning of corn for the production of cellulosic ethanol.
As much as production of cellulosic fuels sounds promising in sustaining and enhancing the quality of human life, one of the big problems that is being faced, or rather was faced in the past, was the high costs that the consumers’ would bare of they used cellulosic fuels to run their automobiles. From study, it was clear that it would take liquid fuels from cellulose could not compete with gasoline since it would one a dollar more per gallon to run a car (Madolyn 3). As time progresses, the dream of using liquid fuels from cellulose looks more promising since the increase in gasoline prices made the difference less detectable, it is, however, good to note that in this year, fuel prices such as petroleum and the rest has really decreased with huge margings, which can make it hard for liquid fuels from cellulose to compete or keep up. People are always trying to buy things that they can afford or do not estrange on their budget. If cellulosic fuels are expensive than gasoline, then they will end up buying gasoline gas. JBEI is, however, working on methods that will improve the production of cellulosic fuels in the next five years or so. If this is achieved, the prices of cellulosic fuels will be really low or even lower than gasoline thus giving gasoline a competitive edge. With this, the costs of production and transportation will really decrease. There will be availability of more fuels for the consumption by man.
Madolyn, Rogers. Cellulosic biofuels may be viable alternative to gas within 5 years. Special to
mongabay.com, 2 June 2008. Web. 28 Feb..2015.
Rajagopal, Deepak, Steven Sexton, Gal Hochman, Hoist, D. R., and David Zilberman. Model
estimates food-versus-biofuel trade- off. California Agriculture 63.4(1999): 199-291.
DOI: 10.3733/can.v0 63n04P.199.
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