August 10: World Biofuel Day | Daily Current Affairs 2021

August 10: World Biofuel Day

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World Biofuel Day

World Biofuel Day: World Biofuel Day is observed on August 10 every year.

Key Points:

  • The day is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and highlight the various efforts made by Government in the biofuel sector.
  • The development of biofuels is in sync with schemes such as Swach Bharat Abhiyan and Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • World Biofuel Day was first observed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Gas in August 2015.

Theme of 2021:

  • The theme of 2021 has been announced to be “promotion of biofuels for a better environment”.
  • The focus will be squarely on using biofuels in an optimum manner while ensuring that their adverse effects on the environment are kept at a minimum.
  • Raising awareness of the availability of biofuels as effective replacements for traditional fuels will also be another important objective.

Background:

  • In June 2021, PM Modi joined the World Environment Day event via video conferencing and declared “biofuels for a better environment” as the theme for this year’s World Environment Day.

History:

  • In India, it is being observed by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas since 2015.
  • The day honours the research experiments by Sir Rudolf Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine).
  • It was just one day before, on August 9 in 1893, he ran an engine with peanut oil.
  • His experiments predicted that vegetable oil would replace fossil fuels in the subsequent century to fuel various mechanical engines.
  • To commemorate this achievement, the date was chosen to observe World Biofuel Day.

What is Biofuel?

  • Biofuels are environmentally friendly fuels whose use would go a long way in reducing carbon emissions.
  • They are created through renewable biomass resources (plant, or algae material, or animal waste) and therefore make a strong case for sustainable development.
  • They are renewable, biodegradable, and sustainable sources of energy.
  • As such biofuels will help meet the energy requirements of the 21st-century world without damaging the environment in the process.
  • Broadly Biofuels are of two types-
    1. Primary Biofuels: The organic materials which are used in an unprocessed form such as fuelwood, wood chips and pellets, primarily for heating, cooking, electricity production.
    2. Secondary Biofuels: The materials which result from the processing of biomass such as liquid fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.
  • Biofuels are generally classified into three categories. They are
    1. First-generation biofuels – First-generation biofuels are made from sugar, starch, vegetable oil, or animal fats using conventional technology. Common first-generation biofuels include Bioalcohols, Biodiesel, Vegetable oil, Bioethers, Biogas.
    2. Second-generation biofuels – These are produced from non-food crops, such as cellulosic biofuels and waste biomass (stalks of wheat and corn, and wood). Examples include advanced biofuels like biohydrogen, bioethanol.
    3. Third-generation biofuels – These are produced from microorganisms like algae.

Benefits of Biofuel:

  1. Cleaner environment
  2. Employment generation
  3. Reduction of import dependence
  4. Additional income to farmers

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