Biofuel is derived from a biomass. It can be a solid, liquid or gas fuel. Bio fuel is now a common means of decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions and is now used as fossil fuel alternative. It is eyed to replace fossil fuels in the near future.
The production of biofuels is derived from any carbon source particularly plants.Biofuels are now used in many countries and are now extensively expanding in big continents such as Europe, Asia and America and the most common use of biofuels is for the automotive and transportation industries.
The industry for biofuel is now growing in some countries. Resources for biomass are continuously being discovered as the demand for biofuels increases. Biofuels have been applied for cooking indoors in some countries where oil is expensive.
We have three generation biofuels and here is how they are produced.
The first generation biofuels are made from crop goods, such as sugar, starch, vegetable oil and animal fats. In countries with warm climate, biofuels made from vegetable oil are now being used as fuel for automobiles with diesel engine.
Biodiesel is a common first generation biofuel. It’s made from vegetable oil mixed with sodium hydroxide and methanol. Like the vegetable oil, biodiesel is now used in diesel engines but has to be mixed with mineral diesel.
Bioalcohol is another type of first generation biofuel, biologically produced with ethanol, butanol and propanol through a process of fermentation. Butanol is the only bioalcohol that can actually produce high energy. A vehicle should be first modified before using butanol, because if not it can cause the engine to burn when butanol is mixed directly with existing gasoline. Ethanol fuel is used worldwide and it’s considered a replacement for gasoline because it’s safe to mix it with gasoline at any percentage.
Methanol is produced from natural gas which is a kind of fossil fuel. Biogas is a very effective product of bio fuels. It is produced from biodegradable waste materials through the process of anaerobic digestion.
Solid biofuels are made from wood, charcoal and dried excrement.
The second generation of biofuels is produced using the biomass to liquid technology that extracts biofuels from nonfood crops. Biohydrogen is one common type of the second generation fuel. It is now used in fuel cells to produce electricity. Biomethanol, almost the same as methanol is now being used in automobiles and can mix with petrol with up to 20% without any significant changes. Wood diesel, another type of the second generation biofuels is extracted from wood chips. The produced oil is mixed with unmodified diesel engines and the byproduct is used as a fertilizer.
The third generation biofuel is from algae. Algae farming is now a growing industry in some countries, to suffice the need for cheaper oil.
Reduction of greenhouse effect, fossil fuel use, increase in energy security, increase in rural development and poverty reduction are some of the benefits from the use of biofuels. With the high cost of current fuels being used, some countries that could not compete with rich countries before, now they can with the biofuel.
The use of biofuel is not unlimited. It has limitations like the other sources of energy. The resources should be replaced or replenished. Otherwise, a more negative effect will come into the picture. But with the proper knowledge and understanding of biofuels, everyone will surely benefit from the use of biofuels.
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