Let us understand what is a Fossil Fuel:
Fossil fuels generate a type of energy that comes from biomass. Whereas, this biomass is produced after millions of years have passed and a large number of processes that transform matter to generate these substances whose energy content is large. Fossil fuels are non-renewable energies that have been formed as a consequence of the natural transformation of organic residues from dead animals together with plant remains. Today they are the largest generators of energy used in the world. They are coal, natural gas, liquefied gas and oil.
a) Coal is a sediment rock that is formed from prehistoric plant remains such as the tree fern.
b) Natural gas has a main component that is methane. This fossil fuel can be found underground and it is extracted with pipes, since it is colourless and odourless, a substance with an unpleasant odour is added to it so that the smell can be perceived.
c) Oil is a liquid with an oily texture that is composed of hydrogen and carbon and can be found at a depth of between 3,000 and 6,000 meters in general, but oil has been found in deep wells of up to 9,000 meters.
So basically the advantages of Fossil Fuel are, they are great source of energy, they are easy to extract, store and move from one place to another and hence can be extensively used.
Whereas, the disadvantages could be as follows:
i) Extracting them and burning them generate carbon dioxide and methane gas that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
ii) They release mercury and arsenic into the atmosphere when they are processed and burned.
iii) It is non-renewable energy. This means that there is a limited amount of fossil fuels on our planet and that at some point they will run out. This will make its extraction more difficult over the years and will increase its price.
iv) Today, oil extraction is the cause of conflict and wars between countries because its geographical distribution is not homogeneous.
What is the BioFuel:
On the other hand, the most common BioFuels are biodiesel and Bioethanol.
Advantages of BioFuels are as follows:
i)They are renewable energy hence making it an unlimited resource.
ii) They generate zero emission of carbon dioxide when used and very little when produced, thus reducing the greenhouse effect.
iii) When it is implemented as the main form of energy, it will be the generator of large industries in rural areas.
iv) They could completely replace the use and industry of fossil fuels while eliminating all the downsides that fossil fuels mean. Engines accept this type of fuel but need some modifications.
Disadvantages of Bio fuels would be that, more energy is required to be produced. Water consumption would be increased in order to irrigate crops. Lastly, large tropical forests have been cut down to plant palms to be used for Bio fuels.
Therefore if we would have to choose between fossil fuels and Bio fuels today it is a very trite topic and it would be very difficult to choose. But since the former are a type of non-renewable energy, the latter would come out to save us when the former ran out, and until then we will continue to look for less harmful alternatives.