The alternative energy pros and cons can be extensive, and renewable biofuels have gained a lot of interest recently. Some of the most well known sources and those that have recently been discovered include:
1. Corn- Corn is the most commonly produced biofuel in the USA, and the ethanol that results from this food has been a source of controversy. Critics complain that since it comes from a food product that this use takes away from the global supply and could cause hunger around the globe. Many believe that other plant sources may be a better option instead.
2. Soy- Soybeans have shown a lot of promise as an alternative source of energy. The oil from the plant is used to produce biodiesel, but this is another staple of the human diet in many areas and countries. This leads to the same food versus fuel controversy.
3. Algae- Algae grows very rapidly, it is not consumed by humans in most cases, and it can contain many oils that can be converted into fuel fairly easily and without a significant expenditure of power. Large scale cultivation is not presently managed though, and farms that are small and that utilize specific strains tend to do better than others.
4. Cellulose- This material is very widely available around the globe, and is at the most basic level simple fiber. Switchgrass, trees, and even so called weeds all contain this material. There is no need to use any crops, waste products from cultivation and harvest work just as well as the crop plant that may have a dietary value.
5. Jatropha- This plant can be grown with very little moisture, so it will grow where few others may be able to survive. The beautiful flowers make it excellent for landscaping, as well as a source of alternative fuel. The fact that it can thrive in even the driest climates makes it ideal for widespread use.
6. Rapeseed- The oil recovered from the rapeseed plant is found in stores as canola oil, and this can be a terrific alternative energy option in some cases. There is concern about the competition that large scale growing operations could present for food production though.
7. Fungus- A new species of fungus that was discovered in Patagonia deep in the rain forest has been receiving a lot of attention in the last couple of years. This type of fungus named Gliocladium Roseum is unique, and can perform functions that can create carbon chains in the right environment and with the proper conditions.
8. Sugar Cane- This is the second largest source of biofuel around the globe, but sugar cane can not thrive in colder climates. A good deal of the entire plant is utilized but there is a limit to the amount that can be grown because of the climate limitations.
9. Wood And Paper- Wood is one of the oldest biofuels ever used, and it can be sustainable when managed properly. Paper waste can also be a great source for energy that is greener than fossil options. If trees are planted when others are harvested then the available supply will not diminish.