A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary processes from biomassrather than a fuel produced by the very slow geological processes involved in the formation of fossil fuelssuch as oil.

Since biomass technically can be used as a fuel directly e. The word biofuel is usually reserved for liquid or gaseous fuels, used for transportation. The EIA U. Energy Information Administration follow this naming practice.

Biofuels can be produced from plants i. Some argue that biofuel can be carbon-neutral because all biomass crops sequester carbon to a certain extent — basically all crops move CO 2 from above-ground circulation to below-ground storage in the roots and the surrounding soil. For instance, McCalmont et al. However, the simple proposal that biofuel is carbon-neutral almost by definition has been superseded by the more nuanced proposal that for a particular biofuel project to be carbon neutral, the total carbon sequestered by the energy crop's root system must compensate for all the above-ground emissions related to this particular biofuel project.

This includes any emissions caused by direct or indirect land use change. Many first generation biofuel projects are not carbon neutral given these demands.

Some have even higher total GHG emissions than some fossil based alternatives. Some are carbon neutral or even negative, though, especially perennial crops. The amount of carbon sequestrated and the amount of GHG greenhouse gases emitted will determine if the total GHG life cycle cost of a biofuel project is positive, neutral or negative. A carbon negative life cycle is possible if the total below-ground carbon accumulation more than compensates for the total life-cycle GHG emissions above ground.

In other words, to achieve carbon neutrality yields should be high and emissions should be low. High-yielding energy crops are thus prime candidates for carbon neutrality. The graphic on the right displays two CO 2 negative Miscanthus x giganteus production pathways, represented in gram CO 2 -equivalents per megajoule. The yellow diamonds represent mean values. The varied results displayed in the graph highlights this fact.

Soils already rich in carbon includes peatland and mature forest. Grassland can also be carbon rich, however Milner et al. The higher the yield, the more likely CO 2 negativity becomes. Bioethanol is an alcohol made by fermentationmostly from carbohydrates produced in sugar or starch crops such as cornsugarcaneor sweet sorghum. Cellulosic biomassderived from non-food sources, such as trees and grasses, is also being developed as a feedstock for ethanol production. Ethanol can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form Ebut it is usually used as a gasoline additive to increase octane and improve vehicle emissions.

Bioethanol is widely used in the United States and in Brazil. Biodiesel is produced from oils or fats using transesterification and is the most common biofuel in Europe. It can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form Bbut it is usually used as a diesel additive to reduce levels of particulates, carbon monoxideand hydrocarbons from diesel-powered vehicles.

The International Energy Agency want biofuels to meet more than a quarter of world demand for transportation fuels byin order to reduce dependency on petroleum. Here are some various social, economic, environmental and technical issues relating to biofuels production and use, which have been debated in the popular media and scientific journals.

With this biofuel production generation, food crops are thus explicitly grown for fuel productionand not anything else.Biofuels are produced from living organisms or from metabolic by-products organic or food waste products. In order to be considered a biofuel the fuel must contain over 80 percent renewable materials. It is originally derived from the photosynthesis process and can therefore often be referred to as a solar energy source.

There are many pros and cons to using biofuels as an energy source. This page contains articles that explore the many biofuel technologies. There have been various methods tried for reducing fossil fuel dependency and containing carbon footprints for a healthier and more eco-friendly future.

Corn-produced ethanol has been used for mixing. Currently biofuel is produced from plants as well as microbes. The oils, carbohydrates or fats generated by the microbes or plants are refined to produce biofuel. This is a. The help of. Research is on for the organic production of isobutene isobutylene. This could very well be the magic formula for future power generation. Really amazing are the innovative ways solar power is put into use. Now a team of scientists working in Sandia National Laboratories is focusing on exploring basic steps to.

This summer, piloted by Captain Allan Judd, Bullet will usher in the return of inflatable giant airships. The ft long and 65ft diameter ship is covered with. Now big companies are going green and proudly proclaiming it too from rooftops.


Google Inc. This is the first. Pokeberries could be helpful in making. With the help of photosynthesis plants convert light energy to chemical energy. This chemical energy is stored in the bonds of sugars they use for food. Photosynthesis happens inside. Since time immemorial human beings are trying to use solar energy for their survival and day to day use. We know that green plants create their own food and.

If we go by the stats, every year 11 billion pounds of poultry industry waste accumulates annually, because we have gigantic appetite for poultry products.Biofuels are transportation fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel that are made from biomass materials. These fuels are usually blended with petroleum fuels gasoline and diesel fuelbut they can also be used on their own.

Using ethanol or biodiesel reduces the consumption of gasoline and diesel fuel made from crude oil, which can reduce the amount of crude oil imported from other countries. Ethanol and biodiesel are also cleaner-burning fuels than pure gasoline and diesel fuel. Ethanol is an alcohol fuel made from the sugars found in grains such as corn, sorghum, and barley. Most of the fuel ethanol used in the United States is distilled from corn.

Scientists are working on ways to make ethanol from all parts of plants and trees rather than just grain. Farmers are experimenting with fast-growing woody crops such as small poplar and willow trees and switchgrass to see if they can be used to produce ethanol.


The U. Biodiesel is a fuel made from vegetable oils, fats, or greases—such as recycled restaurant grease. Biodiesel fuel can be used in diesel engines without changing the engine.

Pure biodiesel is non-toxic and biodegradable. Burning biodiesel produces lower levels of most air pollutants than petroleum-based diesel fuel. Biodiesel is usually sold as a blend of biodiesel and petroleum-based diesel fuel. Biofuels explained Ethanol and biodiesel. What is energy? Units and calculators. Use of energy. Energy and the environment. Also in What is energy? Forms of energy Sources of energy Laws of energy.

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Since the early 19th century, "fossil fuel" has been used to refer to fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas which are formed from the remains of plants and animals which have lain in the earth for millions of years. In the s, a new word, "biofuel," began to be used to describe a different kind of fuel, one taken from more contemporary organic matter.

These fuels include ethanol, which can be derived from such products as corn and sugarcane, and biodiesel, which can be formed from vegetable oils. These organic sources are reflected in the prefix, bio- meaning "life" or "living organisms or tissue.

Tom Harkin that helped to develop the biofuels industry. Marcy Kaptur and the people who want to replace her in Congress," 24 Feb. Send us feedback. Sign Up Dictionary Entries near biofuel bioflavonoid bioflick biofouling biofuel biog biogas biogen. Accessed 17 Apr. Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible.

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Or 'unessential'? For Whom the Grammar Rules When is 'whom' the right choice? And who put it there, anyway? Literally How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts. Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice? Come look at pictures of baby animals. Can you correctly identify these flowers? Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? Build a chain of words by adding one letter at a time. Login or Register. Save Word. Log In. Definition of biofuel. Did You Know? Example Sentences Learn More about biofuel.

Keep scrolling for more. Examples of biofuel in a Sentence Recent Examples on the Web Low-carbon alternatives in aviation are theoretically possible but could be decades away, requiring substantial investment for research and development to make biofuels or electric planes, for instance, functional and scalable.

First Known Use of biofuelin the meaning defined above. Learn More about biofuel. Time Traveler for biofuel The first known use of biofuel was in See more words from the same year. Listen to Our Podcast about biofuel.Each type of energy has unique characteristics and requires different technologies to convert it from a raw resource to a usable form of energy. View all topics. Forms of energy refer to the states energy has been converted to so that it can be efficiently utilized for its end use, for example electricity or liquid fuels.

We don't care about a barrel of oil; we want transportation. We don't care about solar panels; we want electricity to power our lives. We all use energy to fulfill our basic human needs as it enables progress, productivity and quality of life.

The term biofuel is usually used to reference liquid fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel that are used as replacements for transportation fuels like petroleum, diesel and jet fuel [1]. Biofuels can also include solid fuels like wood pellets and biogas or syngas — however in this summary we will focus on liquid fuels. There are two main types of biofuels — ethanol and biodiesel [1].

The simplest way to distinguish between the two is to remember ethanol is an alcohol and biodiesel is an oil. Ethanol is an alcohol formed by fermentation and can be used as a replacement for, or additive to, gasoline whereas biodiesel is produced by extracting naturally occurring oils from plants and seeds in a process called transesterification.

Biodiesel can be combusted in diesel engines. Biofuels are grouped by categories - first generation, second generation, and third generation — based on the type of feedstock the input material used to produce them. Biofuels are not as energy dense as conventional transportation fuels. Biofuels are currently the only viable replacement to hydrocarbon transportation fuels.

Because biofuels can be used in existing combustion engines, minimal changes to infrastructure are required for their implementation [4] Janaun, J. Perspectives on biodiesel as a sustainable fuel. This is their most prominent advantage as concerns about the environmental impacts of fossil fuels continue to rise. In regions that do not have hydrocarbon resources but do have suitable agricultural conditions, biofuels provide an alternative to foreign fuel imports.

They also come from a wide variety of sources and therefore can be produced in many regions.


Concerns about biofuels are usually centered around the fact that they are an agricultural product [1] Demirbas, A. Biofuels sources, biofuel policy, biofuel economy and global biofuel projections. One key concern about biofuels is that crops grown for fuel production compete with other natural resources, particularly food and water.

First generation biofuels use only edible crops which has led to biofuel crops displacing food sources in some regions. In addition, increased agriculture of any form often comes with concerns of deforestation, water and fertilizer use, which all have their own respective environmental and climate impacts.

Environmental and Energy Study Institute. European Biofuels Technology Platform. Bioenergy International.An Indiana farm is turning the manure from its cows into fuel for its fleet of 42 delivery trucks, an endeavor that is being called a pacesetter for the dairy industry. A panel finds that a blend of intensified research and strong policy could take a big bite out of oil use and CO2 emissions.

Sara Volz, Intel Science Talent Search winner, changed her sleep cycle and created a lab in her room for her first-place project. And it takes steps to combat fraud on renewable energy credits.

The court ruled that a quota set by the Environmental Protection Agency for incorporating liquids made from woody crops and wastes into car and truck fuels was unrealistic. An appeals panel says the E. Julia Koehler of Harvard Medical School discusses the ethics of corn prices and malnutrition. The expansion of biofuels has contributed to spikes in food prices and a shortage of land for agriculture in poor corners of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Nowhere, perhaps, is that squeeze more obvious than in Guatemala. Biofuel expansion has contributed to spikes in food prices and a shortage of farmland; both are felt keenly in Guatemala, with its corn-based diet and land owned by a handful of families. The fiscal package passed this week included a retroactive reinstatement of a dollar-a-gallon credit going back to Januarywhen it lapsed.

Latest Search Search. Clear this text input. By Steven Yaccino. By Andrew C. By Matthew L. Green Court Faults E. By The New York Times. Letter Hunger in Guatemala Dr.

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By Elisabeth Rosenthal. Show More.Biofuel is a type of renewable energy source derived from microbial, plant, or animal materials. Examples of biofuels include ethanol often made from corn in the United States and sugarcane in Brazilbiodiesel from vegetable oils and liquid animal fatsgreen diesel derived from algae and other plant sources and biogas methane derived from animal manure and other digested organic material.

Biofuels are most useful in liquid or gaseous form because they are easier to transport, deliver and burn cleanly. Many in the energy industry view biofuel as vitally important to future energy production because of its clean and renewable properties.

Importantly, many of the world's major oil companies are now investing millions of dollars in advanced biofuel research.

How To Make Biodiesel Using A Used Cooking Oil

America's largest oil company, ExxonMobil, says they are funding a broad portfolio of biofuels research programs including ongoing efforts on algae as well as programs on converting alternative, non-food-based biomass feedstocks, i. They warn, however, that fundamental technology improvements and scientific breakthroughs are still necessary in both biomass optimization and the processing of biomass into viable fuels. Individuals concerned about energy security and carbon dioxide emissions see biofuels as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

However, biofuels also have shortcomings. For example, it takes more ethanol than gasoline to produce the same amount of energy, and critics contend that ethanol use is extremely wasteful because the production of ethanol actually creates a net energy loss while also increasing food prices.

Specific concerns center around the use of large amounts of arable land that are required to produce bio-crops, leading to problems such as soil erosion, deforestation, fertilizer run-off and salinity. To help mitigate the problem of large arable land use, companies like ExxonMobil are turning to water-based solutions in the form of algae production.

In addition to using non-arable land and not requiring the use of fresh water, algae could potentially yield greater volumes of biofuels per acre than other sources.

This would go a long way to replacing the conventional fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel used today. Renewable Energy. Energy Trading. Your Money. Personal Finance. Your Practice. Popular Courses. What Is Biofuel? Key Takeaways Biofuels are a class of renewable energy derived from living materials.

The most common biofuels are corn ethanol, biodiesel, and biogas from organic byproducts. Energy from renewable resources puts less strain on the limited supply of fossil fuels, which are considered nonrenewable resources. Compare Accounts. The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation.

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Related Terms Biothermal Energy Biothermal energy is a type of renewable energy derived from the heat and gas byproducts of composting organic material.

Petroleum Petroleum is a fluid found in the earth that can be refined into fuel and plastic. Humans rely on petroleum for many goods and services, but it has a large and negative impact on the environment. Hydrocarbon Definition A hydrocarbon is an organic chemical compound composed exclusively of hydrogen and carbon atoms.

What Are Nonrenewable Resources? A nonrenewable resource is a natural substance that is not replenished with the speed at which it is consumed. It is a finite resource. Energy Sector Definition The energy sector is a category of stocks that relate to producing or supplying energy, i.

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