Main Difference – Bio Carbon vs Fossil Carbon
Carbon has four unpaired electrons, allowing it to form chain structures and other complex compounds. Carbon can combine with different elements to form different compounds. These compounds are essential for life to exist. Carbon can be found on earth as bio carbon and fossil carbon. Bio carbon is the carbon included in the biological systems. Fossil carbon is the carbon found in fossil fuels. The main difference between bio carbon and fossil carbon is that bio carbon is renewable whereas fossil carbon is not renewable.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Bio Carbon
– Definition, Occurrence
2. What is Fossil Carbon
– Definition, Formation
3. What is the Difference Between Bio Carbon and Fossil Carbon
– Comparison of Key Differences
Key Terms: Bio Carbon, Carbon, Fossil Carbon, Fossil Fuel, Renewable Sources
What is Bio Carbon
Bio carbon is the carbon that trees, plants and healthy soils naturally absorb and store. In other words, bio carbon is the carbon that is exchanged between organisms and environment. Plants get carbon from the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide. This carbon is then converted into sugars (starch) via photosynthesis and is stored in plant tissues. Animals obtain this bio carbon from plants. When animals and plants die, this carbon is collected in soil. All these forms are composed of bio carbon. This means, carbon present in biomass can be called bio carbon.
Forests are like bio carbon storages. There are long-term deposits of carbon on the ground. These deposits are formed from the leaves falling from plants, dead animals, etc. Therefore, these deposits are composed of bio carbon.
This indicates that bio carbon is a renewable source of carbon. This is because bio carbon can get circulated via soil, atmosphere and organisms. Moreover, oceans and other natural water bodies are also deposits of bio carbon. Those water bodies are composed of dissolved carbon dioxide in the form of carbonates, and there are plants and other organisms live in water.
Bio sequestration is a way of fixing bio carbon present in the atmosphere into biomass. It is the capture and storage of the atmospheric greenhouse gas, the carbon dioxide by biological processes.
What is Fossil Carbon
Fossil carbon is the carbon present in fossil fuels. Fossil fuel is a natural fuel such as coal or gas, formed in the geological past from the remains of living organisms. This means fossil fuel is created from dead plants and animal matter that have undergone different geological processes for millions of years. Fossil fuel can be found as crude oil or natural gas. Both these forms are made out of carbon-containing compounds. This carbon is called fossil carbon.
Fossil fuel formation is a way of carbon capture and storage. Here, carbon is deposited and kept for a very long time. People get crude oil and natural gases from deep places on earth. This is done by hard processes such as mining and digging. Then the obtained fossil fuel is processed in order to be converted into useful products. These products also are composed of fossil carbon.
Unlike bio carbon, fossil carbon is not a renewable source of carbon. This is because it takes millions of years for the formation of fossil fuels through natural processes. Therefore, the remaining fossil fuels must be conserved for the future. Due to the increased usage of fossil fuels, the amount of fossil carbon left is decreasing rapidly.
Difference Between Bio Carbon and Fossil Carbon
Bio Carbon: Bio carbon is the carbon that trees, plants and healthy soils naturally absorb and store.
Fossil Carbon: Fossil carbon is the carbon present in fossil fuels.
Bio Carbon: Bio carbon is circulating in the environment.
Fossil Carbon: Fossil carbon is formed from geological processes.
Bio Carbon: Bio carbon is stored in plants, animals, soil and atmosphere.
Fossil Carbon: Fossil carbon is stored in fossil fuel.
Ability to Renew
Bio Carbon: Bio carbon is renewable.
Fossil Carbon: Fossil carbon is not renewable since it takes millions of year to generate.
Bio Carbon: The amount of bio carbon present on the earth is very high.
Fossil Carbon: The amount of fossil carbon present on the earth is comparatively low.
Carbon is an abundant element that can be found almost everywhere on earth. It is an essential component of life. Bio carbon and fossil carbon are two forms of carbon that are named according to their origin. The main difference between bio carbon and fossil carbon is that bio carbon is renewable whereas fossil carbon is not renewable.
1. “BioCarbon: What is it and why do we care?” BioCarbon: What is it and why do we care? | The Ocean Foundation, 9 Nov. 2014, Available here.
2. “What is biocarbon, and why is the Seattle Times talking about it?” City Green Blog RSS, 10 July 2013, Available here.
3. “Fossil Fuels.” Carbon and Climate, Available here.
1. “Kew Gardens Waterlily House – Sept 2008” By Diliff – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Apollo Beach power plant 01432” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
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