fossil fuels

Understanding the Biofuels Concept


Biofuels are gaseous or liquid fuels utilized in the transport industry. They are generated from biomass. Various liquid fuels can be generated from biomass materials such as biodiesel, ethanol, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, and methanol.

Gaseous fuels include; methane and hydrogen. The base of biomass resources consists of a vast range of agricultural resources and forestry, municipal urban and solid wood residues, and industrial processing residues.

Agricultural resources are also used by MBP Solution in biofuel manufacturing. They include; crop residues produced from small grains and corn such as wheat straw, sugarcane, cotton, nuts and fruits, and animal manure. Forest residue sources used in biofuel production include residue produced after clearing of forests, residues produced in primary forest products, fuelwood harvested from forestlands, and residue from wood processing mills.

Urban and municipal wood residues include a wide variety of materials such as tree and yard trimmings, wood pellets, wood residue derived from land clearing activities, packaging materials, organic waste, and demolition and construction debris.

On the global front, biofuels are popularly used for cooking, to heat homes, and to power vehicles. The use of biofuels is becoming popular in many countries across the globe. Experts believe that using biofuels comes with numerous benefits such as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, regional development, and sustainability.

First-Generation Biofuels

Experts utilize conventional technology to generate first-generation biofuels. These are derived from vegetable oil, starch, sugar, or animal fats. The essential raw materials required for the production of first-generation biofuels emanate from food processing and agriculture. Here are some of the most common first-generation biofuels.

·        Biodiesel

Biodiesel is the production of biofuel via esterification and transesterification, both of which are chemical reactions. The process involves the use of animal and vegetable fats which are reacted using short chain alcohols such as ethanol and methanol.

·        Bioethanol

The production of bioethanol fuel involves sugar fermentation from sugar crops such as sugarcane. Still, the process can involve starch crops such as wheat and maize. However, Bioethanol can be produced using a chemical process which involves using steam to react ethylene.

Other first-generation biofuels include:

  • Biogas and
  • Bio-oil

First generation biofuels can be utilized in minimal percentage blends together with ordinary fuels in a big percentage of existing vehicles. They can also be distributed using an already existing infrastructure. Some of the available diesel vehicles can operate on 100% biodiesel while flexible fuel vehicles are already in the market in various countries across the globe.

2nd generation biofuels are obtained from non-food raw materials such as wood or lignocellulosic biomass based crop residues. Currently, there are two 2nd generation biofuel production technologies under innovation which are;

  • Thermochemical and
  • Biochemical


In order to generate 2nd generation biofuels appropriately, experts need to innovate more advanced conversion technologies. 2nd generation biofuel technologies utilize a wide range of biomass resources such as waste, agriculture, and forestry materials. Lignocellulosic processing, a technology that involves processing of forest materials is so far adequately advanced with manufacturers setting up pilot plants in various parts of the world. 3rd generation biofuels could comprise of generation of bio-based hydrogen for vehicle use.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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