Biofuels Market Research
Energy from renewable sources is expected to put less strain on the environment and the already limited supply of fossil fuels. Pure biofuels produce fewer emissions than their fossil-derived equivalents. With the many environmental concerns and climate threats, changing to biofuels looks like the more responsible choice. Before diving into this market, one should address which type of biofuel works best, based on a company’s needs and goals. The pros outweigh the cons, and to tackle the cons and integrate positive changes, it is best to prepare with Biofuels market research.
Overview of Biofuels Market Research
In the past decades, businesses have been moving in a more sustainable direction, primarily in the manufacturing of products, but also to decrease their yearly emissions.
Consumers are increasingly aware of the effects of fossil fuels, and not only that but they are also informed about which companies contribute the most – or the least – to environmental damage. The number of ethically responsible consumers has risen and can no longer be ignored.
In general, an environmentally-conscious business will attract more customers. People are more likely to spend on products that were produced with biofuels. In that way, both the company and the customer lessen their carbon footprint.
Key Trends and Drivers in the Biofuels Industry
Biodiesel has become an attractive replacement for fossil fuels. Being biodegradable, non-toxic renewable, and eco-friendly (they burn cleaner than fossil fuels), the raw materials for this alternative are more affordable. Nonetheless, its synthesis is rather costly and may not necessarily lead to an immediately lucrative market. Despite the high costs, though, Europe still is the largest producer of biodiesel. Regardless, one can expect biodiesel (made from plant-based oil seeds) to increase. Especially airlines are interested in using biofuels.
Plant and refinery industries will grow as the need for them rises. These industries strip the oil from plants for reuse. Especially in the regions where canola and sunflower are grown, one can expect those facilities to pop up.
Besides biodiesel, high amounts of ethanol are also being produced. Corn, but also sugarcane, are popular raw materials to make this fuel. There are mixed opinions about ethanol – which is mostly used as a component of gasoline. One major pro is that ethanol has a higher octane number than gasoline, improving fuel quality and ensuring good drivability.
Buthanol is similar to ethanol, but it has a higher energy density and lower vapor pressure, which makes it a better candidate for biofuels than ethanol.
Methanol is less expensive to produce than ethanol, and it is also a popular candidate for biofuels. Unfortunately, not only is it more toxic, but it also has a lower energy density than gasoline.
Biogas is another environmentally friendly renewable source that is made of the breakdown of organic matter, such as waste, manure, food scraps, plant material, and sewage.
The surge of alternative biofuels and the study of fuel processes will definitely give rise to many interesting career opportunities, and the growth of plant and refinery industries will increase employment.
Some of the careers in this industry are the following:
- Biochemists, biophysicists, microbiologists, chemists, and lab technicians,
- Civil, environmental, industrial, mechanical, and electrical engineers
Processing plants and refineries
Many of the above-mentioned sectors provide openings in different areas such as management, equipment operators, laborers, growers, purchasing agents, wholesale sales representatives, etc.
Although there are several advantages, biofuels can be expensive. The cost of labor is high and, unfortunately, they also require a lot of space for storage.
Ironically, cultivating crops for biofuels takes up a considerable amount of land, and in addition, it can cause negative changes in land use. Growing plants for fuel requires the clearing of trees to use the freed-up space for cropland. However, cutting down forests and also grassland can release more carbon, which is counterproductive to the original purpose of the creation of this farmland.
Biofuels also require more water consumption. In dry regions, that can have detrimental consequences, not only for nature but also for human inhabitants.
For these reasons, biofuels are not yet fully sustainable and can still be a controversial topic for some.
Innovation Clusters to Analyze Biofuels Market Research
As mentioned before, gasoline contains a biofuel, although it has to be said that this updated version works better in newer cars. Car dealerships and mechanics are less enthusiastic about adding this fuel to older vehicles, which may not be compatible with it.
In general, most biofuels are used for transportation, but they can also be utilized for heating and electricity. Other common uses are: charging electronics, cleaning oil spills and grease, lubrication, cooking, removing paint and adhesive, and reducing the need (and costs) for imported oil.
- Charging electronics: fuel cells made with cooking oil and sugar can be used to recharge cell phones, laptops, and electronics in general.
- Cleaning oil spills and grease. This is an interesting and very beneficial use to avert environmental disasters. Since it is non-toxic, biofuel can work as a cleaning agent for oil spills.
- Biofuel works in stoves, so it is great for cooking.
- Lubricating: keeps the car engine functioning and in good shape
- The usual products to remove paint and adhesive are very toxic and it is recommendable to replace them with biofuels. They are just as effective.
- It is common knowledge that oil import is expensive, and the world is running out of it. Needless to say, the oil industry has also had numerous disastrous impacts on the environment. Therefore, biofuels are the best alternative – and the most lucrative, considering the increasing demand for fuel.
Future Outlook of Biofuels Market Research
Despite a drop in the biofuels market during the covid pandemic – figures are expected to increase in the next coming years. Even though biofuels need improvement – for example, the reduction of land use for production – they provide a welcome and environmentally-friendly alternative. Most consumers care about the environment and prefer to spend money on responsibly-sourced goods. Combining these demands with the trend (and need) to use biofuels and the many new career and employment opportunities this industry provides, is a win-win for everyone.
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