Biofuels are liquid or gaseous fuels, produced from biomass. Most biofuels are used for transportation, but some of them are used as fuel to produce electricity.
Expanded use of biofuels offers a number of benefits for our energetic security, economic growth and the environment.
Current biofuels research focuses on new forms of biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel as well as on the processes of converting biofuels.
Premier Campbell Newman will progress Queensland research into renewable energy when he today (Tuesday 9 April) opens an advanced solar biofuels pilot plant designed to develop microalgae-based systems as a source of clean fuel.
Livermore, Calif. — Sandia National Laboratories is developing a suite of complementary technologies to help the emerging algae industry detect and quickly recover from algal pond crashes, an obstacle to large-scale algae cultivation for future biofuels.
Ethanol – it’s alcohol and is made mainly from corn starch from cereals.
It is most commonly used as an additive to petroleum based fuels to reduce toxic air emissions and increase octane. Today, about half of the gasoline sold in the United States include 5% -10 ethanol.
The use of biodiesel is relatively small, but its benefits are relevant for the air quality.
Biodiesel is produced through a process that combines organic oils, derived with alcohol (ethanol or methanol) in the presence of a catalyst, to form ethyl or methyl ester. Biomass derived esters – methyl, ethyl –can be mixed with conventional diesel fuel or used as pure fuel (100% biodiesel).
Biofuel conversion processes
Solids that can form Biomass can be converted into liquid or gaseous biofuels through a variety of processes.