Wednesday, 18 Apr, 2007 Environment

Biofuel Vehicles to Put Our Health at Risk


The latest scientific research reveals that biofuels used in vehicles may be more harmful for human health than the petrol used today. By 2020, 10% of all transport means should run on biofuels as agreed by the EU.

The researchers invented a special computer model to determine air quality in 2020. The model showed that ozone level in some regions would grow if bioethanol was used for all cars. It would cause more ailments and asthma attacks. There naturally appears the question – why to use biofuels if it is not beneficial for the environment and human health in particular?

As showed by the study, the smog level increase meant 200 deaths more every year in the US, with only Los Angeles at risk of 120 deaths. Even if to take into account that ozone increase in some US regions would be partially compensated by its decrease in other regions, in general there would be over 700 extra complaints to accident and emergency and almost 1000 extra hospitalizations of people suffering from asthma and other respiratory ailments.

The scientists determined that the use of ethanol reduces levels of two carcinogens found in atmosphere, while increases levels of other carcinogens. Thus, cancers caused by atmospheric carcinogens would remain at the same level as caused by pollution in case of petrol fumes.

Biofuels such as ethanol and diesel are mainly produced from corn, sugarcane and rapeseed. They provide a way of diminishing greenhouse gas emissions if compared to conventional fuels. Despite the fact that biofuels produce carbon dioxide, the plants growing leads to absorption of a similar amount of the gas from the atmosphere. According to a government report, the use of biofuels would result in emissions' reducing by 50-60 % compared to petrol fuels. However, it would not be possible to have all vehicles on ethanol fuel as too much land would be required for growing the plants.

At the moment some scientists also consider the opportunity of converting all vehicles to battery-electric. The necessary amount of electricity would be supplied by wind energy. The use of battery-electric cars would keep the mankind away from 10,000 annual air pollution deaths as well as 98 % of carbon emissions produced by vehicles.

If we tried to make the conclusion, there would be no clear answers so far whether the use of biofuels will be somehow better for people's health. The controversial issue is still to be thoroughly studies by scientists.

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46 votes

//11 Jul 22, 2010 03:31 PM | posted by: vffg
i need more the good topics for science research type project.
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if any information send to my id
51 votes

//10 Jun 12, 2010 07:39 PM | posted by: Umer
Well, what are the other alternatives
51 votes

//9 Feb 03, 2010 03:31 PM | posted by: jayaraj
put more details i thought that is not sufficient for me
55 votes

//8 Dec 16, 2009 11:22 AM | posted by: sharan
yes i feel it should not pollute....we are already suffering from global warming....this beautiful planet cant tollerate more disaster,...we must opt for hydrogen fuel.....
48 votes

//7 Oct 01, 2009 07:33 PM | posted by: an educated lady
This article is missing the fact that the quality of air is going to decline no matter what we do because the process is delayed-the effects of petroleum fuels will be ongoing even if we stop using them today. What the switch to biodiesel would do is lessen the harmful effects that we will see in 2020.
56 votes

//6 Sep 23, 2009 06:33 PM | posted by: qwerty
49 votes

//5 Dec 05, 2008 08:43 PM | posted by: kianna
you make is so good i dont wanna leave and i wanna ahhaaaaa yea baby
48 votes

//4 Jul 13, 2008 01:09 PM | posted by: Reen
That is so alarming.Maybe the government should think twice on implementing the use of biofuel.
47 votes

//3 Jul 05, 2008 08:38 AM | posted by: mj
thanks for the eye opening article for the other side of using biofuel. In the current situation where world need subtitude energy sources. We have to look into the good side of biofuel and also find ways to minimise the side effect. Logically its was more safer to use C2 molecule rather than C6 .
48 votes

//2 Apr 14, 2008 05:07 PM | posted by: snsuresh [InfoMANIAC]
oh god so v have to find other alternative for this !
50 votes

//1 Nov 10, 2007 03:51 AM | posted by: Dale
This article makes some pretty heavy claims. I would like to see some concrete facts as to why Bio-fuels would be detrimental. Is this model of air quality in 2020 accurate. There is no support for these claims which makes me skeptical of them.

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