According to EMPA – the Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, biofuels may well be producing less greenhouse gases but, other problems like soil acidification and waterway pollution through fertilizer runoff arise. This means, use of biofuels gives rise to “more growth-related pollution for land used for agriculture.”

The study points out that only a few biofuels like biogas have an overall better ecobalance than petrol as their impact on the environment is nearly half as much as that of petrol. Ethanol-based biofuels may have a better ‘ecobalance’ but, the main factor to be considered is the manner in which it is produced.

Rainer Zah, researcher at EMPA, points out that if agricultural land is used for the production of biofuels, there will be impact on the forest cover as forested areas may have to be cleared for agricultural use as supply of food has to be maintained.