An MIT study examining airplane fuel determined that a plane flying with a biofuel blend that includes palm oil is less green than conventional fossil fuel based jet fuel. The harvest of palm oil destroys hundreds of thousands of acres of invaluable rainforest. The destroyed rainforest, often becomes desertified due to the lack of moisture from the vegetation and high temperatures. The loss of habitat and necessary carbon emissions to harvest the palm oil are considered more harmful to the environment than drilling, refining, and burning conventional fossil fuels.
Corn-based biofuels typically require so many pesticides and chemicals that they may actually cause more damage to the environment than using straight gasoline. Luckily, a large portion of the biofuels used today are simply filtered corn oil that was discarded by restaurants because they are legally not allowed to use it twice for deep-frying. Also, scientists are discovering new ways of making biofuels. Switchgrass is a popular choice because it is naturally resistant to pests and thus requires minimal maintenance to grow.
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