Biofuels and fossil fuels are the most prominent names when it comes to fuels, with the latter being the most common type of fuel in use today the world over. Basically, fuels are materials that produce heat or power when they are burned, and the best fuels are those that produce the most heat or power when a small amount of the same is burned.A biofuel is the type of fuel produced from biological processes, which include agriculture and anaerobic digestion. On the other hand, a fossil fuel is the type of fuel produced from geological processes, with the leading examples being petroleum and coal.
Types Of Biofuels
[thrive_custom_box title=”” style=”light” type=”color” color=”#317dbf” border=””]Biofuels are just as good if not better than fossil fuels, although they have their challenges. [/thrive_custom_box]
Biofuels are divided into three main categories:
First generation biofuels: These biofuels are produced from plants and algae that are not in their green or sustainable form. Use of this type of fuel in large scale would result in an environmental catastrophe. Examples here include the use of starch, vegetable oils, animal fats, sugar, etc.Second generation biofuels: These are produced from the feedstock, which unlike the first generation biofuels, are sustainable. These fuels are available, their use results in very little to negligible greenhouse gas emissions, and their impact on biodiversity and land use is sustainable. Examples here include grass, wood, inedible plant parts, algae, etc.
Third generation biofuels: These fuels are recent entries into the market, although they are not new because they were traditionally classified as second generation fuels.
[thrive_custom_box title=”” style=”light” type=”color” color=”#dd2323″ border=””]These fuels are primarily derived from algae, which has the potential of producing far much higher yields with considerably lower resource input compared to the second generation biofuels.[/thrive_custom_box]
Uses Of Biofuels
- In cars: These days, cars manufacturers are making vehicles in such a way that they can run on ethanol blends ranging from 0-85% ethanol. Most gasoline vehicles just need gasoline with 10% ethanol.
- In planes: Research has shown the viability of the using biofuels to power planes, a development that is expected to take root in the next ten years or so. The challenge here lies with the competition of this fuel with food supply, a challenge that will be overcome with time.
- In small engines: Chainsaws and lawnmowers have small engines that run on biofuels consisting of ethanol blends of at least 10%. Such small engines run with these fuels perfectly, since little to no adjustments are made to facilitate the new fuel.
- In power generation: Most of the fuel in the world goes to generate electricity. With the advancement in technology, the percentage of biofuels used will surpass that of fossil fuels in electricity production.
- In heat generation: Soon, recently grown plant materials should be the dominant form of energy in the kitchen, a title held by natural gas.
According to experts, fossil fuels are on the verge of exhaustion and there is no known way of replenishing their supply. Therefore, one of our ways out from a potential energy crisis in the near future is to embrace biofuels and enhance their production.