Biofuels: Trucking’s Ace in the Hole, or a Backup at Best?
The topic of energy choice in trucking has gotten a little more complex in recent years.
While most commercial operators have come to view diesel as the lifeblood of their industry, technology has presented some new options.
With companies like Tesla and Volvo offering truck drivers the chance to power their rigs either partially or completely with electric batteries, leaving a smaller footprint is becoming more economically feasible – even for an industry that’s been long criticized for its emission levels.
But there’s another potential alternative that could power commercial trucks – biofuels. While the technology for these engines is still developing, many wonder how popular it will become in the freight transportation industry.
What Are Biofuels? Are They Efficient?
Biofuels are created from animal fat and vegetable oils. Designed to function similarly to traditional diesel, this energy source may feel a little more familiar for truck drivers than chargeable batteries.
The difference is that, unlike fossil fuels, biofuels only have a small impact on the environment – at least directly. The emission rates for biofuels are much lower than those for diesel, making it possible for truckers to move their cargo on a cleaner and more sustainable form of energy.
This could position biofuels as a well-kept secret, which could very well see lead to more interest building up in the coming years. Though it is one of the lesser-known methods out there for powering a vehicle, this may be for good reason.
While biofuels are efficient under the right circumstances, there are critics who state that they are still wasteful in certain ways.
The Case Against Biofuel Usage
Those who set their focus on creating a more sustainable world often work to find the most efficient way to use materials.
Biofuels may certainly be capable of powering an engine, provided it is designed to work with them – but the materials used in biofuels can also be put toward other ends. Even then, gathering them up raises concerns about over-consumption and a wasteful attitude that led to the green movement in the first place.
If an electric kit can power a vehicle, eco-focused individuals would usually be inclined to choose that over biofuels. The material used in said fuels may be useful in the food, pharmaceutical, or cosmetic industry.
Though an option to consider, biofuels have enough critics to keep them as a solid back-up for the time being rather than a predominant source of power for trucking’s future