Biofuel is a kind of fuel that is directly derived from plant or animal matter, also known as Biomass, and produces Bioenergy. “Bio” is used to depict the organic nature of this fuel source because a geological process like fossil fuels does not produce it. Since such feedback material can be replenished readily, biofuel is considered to be a source of renewable energy, unlike fossil fuels such as petroleum coal, and natural gas.
Biofuel is commonly advocated as a cost-effective and environmentally begin alternative to petroleum and fossil fuels, particularly in the context of rising petroleum prices and increasing concern over the contributions of fossil fuels to global warming.
Owning to this, it is a renewable source of energy preferred for how easy it is to extract and its renewability. Biofuel originates from plants as they make their food through photosynthesis.
Types of Biofuel:
We primarily live on fossil fuel, which is a fuel that has taken millions of years to form. Fossil fuels were derived from decayed plants and animals and converted to natural gas or heavy oil. Biofuels exist in a variety of types and are used to suit a variety of energy demands. There are three common types of biofuels, that will be discussed:
The two most common types of Biofuels in use today are Bio-Ethanol and Biodiesel. Both of which represent the first generation of Biofuel technology.
Biodiesel is the most popular type of Biofuel which is a renewable resource or a fuel that is made from vegetable oil, recycled cooking oil, soybean, palm oil, peanut oil, canola oil, animal fat, and fatty acids. This process of conversion is known as Transesterification. Biodiesel has many advantages from improving air quality to providing safety benefits. It has versatile properties can be used as a replacement for petroleum and is biodegradable. The toxins produced are comparatively less as compared to petroleum. It is safer to handle. The energy content in Biodiesel is about 90% that of petroleum diesel. Compared to petroleum-based diesel, Biodiesel minimizes tailpipe emissions and burns cleaner. It also doesn’t contain sulfur, which eliminates sulfur dioxide emissions.
Ethanol is a renewable fuel that is made from the fermentation of plant starches and sugar. Ethanol is an alcohol used as a blending agent with gasoline to increase octane and tone down carbon monoxide and other toxic productemissions. This is also a byproduct of the chemical reaction with ethylene and other types of petroleum products. It can be produced in many ways like fermentation, distillation, and dehydration. One of the latest techniques for the production of ethanol is algenol which is done with the help of algae. It cleans gas with toxins. It releases less amount of carbon dioxide similar to the amount released by plants, which can be beneficial for a clean and green environment. This considerably reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The energy content in Bio Ethanol is about 50% of that of gasoline.
Bio-gas is a blend of gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide. Biogas is predominantly produced from raw materials such as manure, green waste, food waste, agricultural waste, etc. it burns just like natural gas and for this reason, it is slowly but steadily taking its place.
Biogas is primarily composed of methane gas and is produced from the process of anaerobic breakdown of biomass. Most agricultural firms use biogas, and the fuel is currently being packaged in gas cylinders for household use.
Biohydrogen is a renewable source that is similar to biogas. It is the process of biologically producing hydrogen with the help of bacteria, algae, and achaea. This can be a perfect alternative to fossil fuels. Some of the common methods of developing biohydrogen are photo fermentation, dark fermentation, direct photolysis, and indirect photolysis.
Methanol is also an alcohol like Ethanol used as a clean fuel to power vehicle engines, especially racing cars in various parts of the world. Methanol is remarkably similar to methane in chemical composition, the only difference is that methane is gaseous while methanol is liquid. Biomass is converted to methanol through gasification which is done at extremely high temperatures and in the presence of a catalyst.
Advantages of Biofuels:
Biofuels are compassionate to the environment as it doesn’t release hazardous components. Biofuels are Biodegradable and safe to produce, unlike fossil fuels which comprise activities like drilling and mining. The advantages of Biofuels are described below:
- Biofuel works to promote a healthier population. It is the most important advantage of using biofuel.
- It helps in maintaining a cleaner environment.
- There is no emission of hazardous gases, such as Carbon Monoxide(CO) and sulfur oxide (SO). As a result, biofuels emit less smoke and are more environmentally friendly.
- Using biofuels rather than fossil fuels, there is the only emission of non-toxic materials, which reduces the risk of cancer and breathing problems in human beings.
- Biofuels are friendly to the environment because they reduce the risk of global warming.
- Any country can initiate the production of biofuels without interfering with other countries’ energy sources. If a country can generate its own biofuel, it can set its own pricing on products with ease without so much global or regional restriction.
- Biofuels renewable nature has led to states all around the globe embracing and governments can reduce the dependency and instead support biofuel plants which are cheaper in the long run.
- Since biofuels are equal substitutes to fossil fuels, they can be used to help reduce the monopoly caused by fossil fuels.
- Most of the plants are set up locally and human capital, for example, construction engineers, farmers, project managers, fuel distributors, and logisticians are needed in the process. As a result, it can be a source of employment for locals.
In conclusion, the diverse range of Biofuels, from Ethanol to Biodiesel, offers promising alternatives to traditional fuels. Their renewable nature reduces carbon footprint, and their potential for sustainable energy makes them pivotal in our transition towards a clean and healthy environment.
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