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Biofuel and It’s Types

Biofuel is obtained from biomass, vegetation, and animal waste, all of which can be replenished with sustainable farming practices. Biomass and Biofuel are renewable, unlike fossil fuels that are not renewable.

Biofuels are of 3 kinds, namely:

  • Ethanol

Ethanol is generally prepared from either sugarcane or corn. It is pure alcohol and is one of the most popular alternative biofuels that is used in vehicles. Ethanol blends have been widely used for a long time, with very little need of modifying the engine.

Ethanol is normally derived from plant starches or sugars. However, research scientists are working on developing technology that would also permit the usage of cellulose matter, i.e. the unedible fabric which accounts for most of the plant matter.

Ethanol is generated from biomass through fermentation. Bacteria and yeast process the plant sugars and produce ethanol. Ethanol contains oxygen, which assists the engine in burning fuel more efficiently, thus reducing pollution.

The USA is a leading producer of ethanol while Brazil is the second-largest producer. Both the countries use sugarcane as the key feedstock.

BioDiesel has gained recognition, in recent years. It is an ideal replacement for the traditional petroleum-based diesel. BioDiesel is produced by converting vegetable oils and used cooking oil, collected from restaurants, into usable fuel, which is then blended with conventional diesel.

It is a cleaner-burning substitute for conventional diesel. Further, BioDiesel is non-toxic and biodegradable. It also costs lesser than petroleum diesel. It can be used in existing diesel vehicles and helps in controlling pollution.

  • Biobutanol

Biobutanol is lesser recognized, in comparison to Ethanol and BioDiesel. Biobutanol is procured by fermenting sugars from the organic feedstock. Butanol is the by-product of this fermenting process, besides acetone and ethanol.

When compared to gasoline, Biobutanol can minimize carbon emission by a startling 85 percent. This makes it a very resourceful alternative to gas and other fuels that are an amalgamation of fuel and ethanol. It is more beneficial when compared to ethanol, for higher energy density and a longer burning time in the engine.

Currently, the fuel consumption world over is at an all-time high. The demand for fuel for heating, cooking, operating engines, etc. has increased significantly. Fossil fuels were created millions of years ago and with them depleting, we need to discover alternate means of generating energy. Biofuels are both renewable and affordable. With the evolution of technology, they’re bound to become cheaper, and most importantly, it is a sustainable alternative.

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