A field of rapeseed on a sunny day. Rape seed can be used in the production of biofuels.

Biofuel: The Future’s Green Fuel Source

A field of rapeseed on a sunny day. Rape seed can be used in the production of biofuels.

Biofuel: The Future’s Green Fuel Source

Biofuel is widely held as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. It can be used to power cars, trucks, buses, trains and jet planes. The raw materials used in Biofuel production are plant-based. This means that unlike fossil fuels they are unlikely to run out.

1. What is biofuel?

2. How biofuels are made

3. Benefits of biofuel vs fossil fuels

4. Watch Biofuels 101

5. The future of biofuels

Biofuel is widely held as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. It can be used to power cars, trucks, buses, trains and jet planes. The raw materials used in Biofuel production are plant-based. This means that unlike fossil fuels they are unlikely to run out.

1. What is biofuel?

2. How biofuels are made

3. Benefits of biofuel vs fossil fuels

4. The future of biofuels

5. Watch Biofuels 101

What is biofuel?

 

Biofuel is widely held as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. It can be used to power cars, trucks, buses, trains and jet planes. The raw materials used in Biofuel production are plant-based. This means that unlike fossil fuels they are unlikely to run out.

An eco bus fueled on biofuels is driving through the city

What is bio fuel?

Biofuel is widely held as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. It can be used to power cars, trucks, buses, trains and jet planes. The raw materials used in Biofuel production are plant-based. This means that unlike fossil fuels they are unlikely to run out.

An eco bus fueled on biofuels is driving through the city

How biofuels are made

The most common forms of biofuel are biodiesel and bioethanol.

To make ethanol, the source plant (for example corn or sugar cane), will undergo a process called fermentation, where bacteria can digest it. About 25 billion gallons of ethanol are made each year for use as fuel.

Corn ethanol in test tubes and beakers. Corn is often used to produce biofuels.
Corn ethanol in test tubes and beakers. Corn is often used to produce biofuels.

How biofuels are made

The most common forms of biofuel are biodiesel and bioethanol.

To make ethanol, the source plant (for example corn or sugar cane), will undergo a process called fermentation, where bacteria can digest it. About 25 billion gallons of ethanol are made each year for use as fuel.

Biodiesel is made by refining oil or fat collected from plants and animals. Biofuel is typically produced by breaking down lipids in the presence of another type of alcohol - methanol. About 1 billion gallons of biodiesel are produced each year.

Ethanol and biodiesel are an attractive alternative to petrol and diesel because they can be used in existing combustion engines without any need for modification in most cases.

Benefits of biofuels over fossil fuel

Biofuel is less expensive to make than petrol or diesel oil. Biofuels are also more environmentally friendly compared to fossil fuels as they emit fewer greenhouse gases when burned.

Scientific studies suggest that biofuel can reduce greenhouse gases by around 65% when substituted for fossil fuels. It is also a sustainable fuel source because it comes from replenishable materials. This is the opposite in the case of fossil fuels, which are a finite resource.

An old Diesel fuel pump

The future of biofuel

Support for the development of biofuels has increased. This is largely due to technological advancement that has made it easier to obtain, produce, use and distribute biofuel for widespread consumer use. Opening more biofuel manufacturing plants will also increase employment and boost the local agriculture industry.

Biofuels help create energy security in developing countries, particularly those in Africa and Asia, where 60-70% of the population’s energy comes from biomass. While these countries lack technological resources, they do have suitable agricultural conditions to make biofuel.

As we strive towards a cleaner planet with lower carbon emissions, biofuel may completely replace diesel as a transportation fuel. It's a fossil fuel alternative that produces few greenhouse gases and can be sourced indefinitely for the foreseeable future. If the process to produce them is perfected, biofuels could be one of our greatest investments.

 

Biodiesel is made by refining oil or fat collected from plants and animals. Biofuel is typically produced by breaking down lipids in the presence of another type of alcohol - methanol. About 1 billion gallons of biodiesel are produced each year.

Ethanol and biodiesel are an attractive alternative to petrol and diesel because they can be used in existing combustion engines without any need for modification in most cases.

Benefits of biofuel over fossil fuel

Biofuel is less expensive to make than petrol or diesel oil. Biofuels are also more environmentally friendly compared to fossil fuels as they emit fewer greenhouse gases when burned.

Scientific studies suggest that biofuel can reduce greenhouse gases by around 65% when substituted for fossil fuels. It is also a sustainable fuel source because it comes from replenishable materials. This is the opposite in the case of fossil fuels, which are a finite resource.

An old Diesel fuel pump

The future of biofuel

Support for the development of biofuels has increased. This is largely due to technological advancement that has made it easier to obtain, produce, use and distribute biofuel for widespread consumer use. Opening more biofuel manufacturing plants will also increase employment and boost the local agriculture industry.

Biofuels help create energy security in developing countries, particularly those in Africa and Asia, where 60-70% of the population’s energy comes from biomass. While these countries lack technological resources, they do have suitable agricultural conditions to make biofuel.

A rapeseed field in front of a hill with wind turbines on the top. Rape seed can be used to produce biofuels.

As we strive towards a cleaner planet with lower carbon emissions, biofuel may completely replace diesel as a transportation fuel. It's a fossil fuel alternative that produces few greenhouse gases and can be sourced indefinitely for the foreseeable future. If the process to produce them is perfected, biofuels could be one of our greatest investments.

A lady sitting out front of her humble home in India

Biofuels help create energy security in developing countries, particularly those in Africa and Asia, where 60-70% of the population’s energy comes from biomass.

A lady sitting out front of her humble home in India

Biofuels help create energy security in developing countries, particularly those in Africa and Asia, where 60-70% of the population’s energy comes from biomass.

Sources & further reading

✅ for peer reviewed research

1. www.theswitch.co.uk

2. Land clearing and the biofuel carbon debt - Joseph Fargione, Jason Hill, David Tilman, Stephen Polasky, Peter Hawthorne 2008 - Vol 319, Issue 5867 - Science ✅

3. Biomass energy: the scale of the potential resource - Christopher B.Field, J. Elliott Campbell, David B.Lobell 2008 - Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 65-72 - ScienceDirect

4. Carbon-negative biofuels from low-input high-diversity grassland biomass - David Tilman, Jason Hill, Clarence Lehman 2006 - Vol. 314, Issue 5805, pp. 1598-1600 - Science

 

Sources & further reading

✅ for peer reviewed research

1. www.theswitch.co.uk

2. Land clearing and the biofuel carbon debt - Joseph Fargione, Jason Hill, David Tilman, Stephen Polasky, Peter Hawthorne 2008 - Vol 319, Issue 5867 - Science ✅

3. Biomass energy: the scale of the potential resource - Christopher B.Field, J. Elliott Campbell, David B.Lobell 2008 - Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 65-72 - ScienceDirect

4. Carbon-negative biofuels from low-input high-diversity grassland biomass - David Tilman, Jason Hill, Clarence Lehman 2006 - Vol. 314, Issue 5805, pp. 1598-1600 - Science