BioFacts

What causes global warming? Carbon dioxide and other air pollution trap in the sun's heat in the atmosphere.  Coal-burning power plants and automobiles are the largest U.S. sources of carbon dioxide pollution.

  • What are alternative fuels? Alternative fuels, such as biofuels, are substitutes for conventional fossil fuels, such as petroleum (oil), coal, propane and natural gas.
  • Common U.S. agricultural products specifically grown for biofuel production include switchgrass and soybeans.
  • What is switchgrass anyway? Switchgrass is a common, warm-season grass that can be used to make an environmentally friendly biofuel and alternative to traditional gasoline.
  • By 2050, biofuels could reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 1.7 billion tons per year — equivalent to more than 80% of current transportation-related emissions.
  • Humans have used biomass fuels for heating and cooking since the discovery of fire.
  • Biofuel is any liquid fuel derived from biological material such as trees, agricultural wastes, crops, or even grass.
  • Biofuel can be produced from any carbon source that can be replenished rapidly, such as plants.
  • Biomass refers to living and recently dead biological matter that can be used as fuel or for industrial production.
  • Biofuel is considered a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy security by providing an alternative to fossil fuels.
  • Biofuels are used globally and biofuel industries are greatly expanding in Europe, Asia, and North and South America.
  • Biofuels contain no sulfur and produce low carbon monoxide and toxic emissions.
  • The biggest cause of global warming is the carbon dioxide released when fossil fuels like oil and coal are burned for energy.
  • A car that gets 20 miles per gallon will emit about 50 tons of carbon dioxide in its lifetime. A car getting 40 mpg will emit half that amount.
  • Over the average lifetime of an American car, a 40-mpg car will save roughly $3,000 in fuel costs compared with a 20-mpg car.
  • In 2005, more than 75 million gallons of biodiesel were produced in the United States, primarily from soybeans.
  • Coal-burning power plants are the largest U.S. source of carbon dioxide pollution – producing 2.5 billion tons every year.
  • American workers spend an average of 47 hours per year in rush hour traffic, which adds up to 3.7 billion hours and 23 billion gallons of gas wasted in traffic each year.