What is a Biofuel?
Converted from biomass (plant or animal matter), biofuel is a unique renewable energy source that can be converted to liquid fuel form. In contrast with fossil fuels, biofuel serves as a renewable and sustainable alternative for transportation fuel needs. Because it can be produced from different biowaste materials (domestic, agricultural, industrial) or from organic resources (plants and animal), there are quite a number of biodiesel types available. But which of these are the most common types?
Most Common Biofuel Types
When considering biomass, wood is the most basic form and can be found anywhere in the world. Most commonly used as biofuel in the forms of charcoal and firewood.
One of the most common types of biofuel, biodiesel is derived from animal and plant oils and fats, alongside alcohols. From these oils and fats, pure liquid biodiesel is produced. A common oil used for the production of biodiesel comes from sunflower seeds.
Similar to biodiesel, ethanol has a liquid form that is derived from the oils, fats and other biomass from mostly plants, rather than animals. One of the cleanest forms of renewable fuel that is produced with the fermentation of sugars and cellulose, with the most preferred plant source being sugarcane.
Both ethanol and methanol are alcohols used as clean fuels for vehicles, particularly racing car engines, but methanol is derived from a gasification process of biomass at high temperatures with the additional use of a catalyst.
Through a fermentation process of plants with high energy content like wheat, butanol is an alcohol fuel that is difficult to produce. However, it is the biofuel most similar to gasoline and can be used directly with engines.
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