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What You Need to Know About Biofuel as A Sustainable Power Source

The energy crisis has already prompted a war; that is if you believe conspiracy theorists and the media. There might be some truth to this matter, at least if we take a closer look at the dynamics of supply and demand of fuel all over the world.

What Is BioFuel?

Biofuel is an energy source derived from recently deceased biological matter while fossil fuel (i.e. raw material for gasoline, kerosene, diesel and etc.). In theory, biofuel can be derived from any carbonated source, but in practice, it usually comes from plants like corn, palm, sugar cane, wheat, jatropha, and algae. These feedstock sources are popular for the two most popular end products which are used for cars and machineries: bioethanol and biodiesel. Bioethanol comes from either sugar crops or fermented starch. Biofuel does not just come from plant crops, although a margin of them does.

Biomass

Since biofuel may be gaseous, liquid or solid fuel other categories also apply. Way up in the Tibetan mountains biofuel has been in use for hundreds of years. Tibetans use manure from their goats, donkeys, horses, and cows as a substitute for wood. Animal waste are common pollutants, converting it into useful energy helps eliminate its negative effects.

Biowaste

Other alternative fuel resources are used oils. People eat, and thousands and millions of gallons of used oils are thrown down the drain which leads to rivers and oceans. Oil does not decompose ergo recycling and converting it into biofuel is in order. In addition, landfills may be of some use after all. Landfills emanate polluting gas which contains methane, a combustible gas which is the primary content of the gas we use for cooking, and heat.

Liquid biofuels are getting generous media attention because of the worsening air conditions in severely populated areas. Cars produce almost 60% of our air pollution. Vehicles need highly combustible energy so that it will function. Liquids and gases are easier to handle because it can be contained and pumped, so handling is less expensive.

Biofuel And Cars

There are two types of biofuels that may be used in cars: biodiesel and bioethanol. Biofuel is very popular in Europe. In that part of the world most car manufacturers make vehicles with diesel engines, so using biodiesel instead of pure diesel is a relatively easy transition. If a car is unmodified owners may blend up to 20% biodiesel with regular diesel. Biodiesel comes from fats and used oils, these by-products are processed through what’s transesterification. Transestirification is a chemical reaction produced by adding an acid-base to the fats. The result is biodiesel.

Bio-alcohol is produced when starch, sugar, and cellulose are fermented. The results are three popular types of alcohol: ethanol, butanol, and propanol. Among the three it is argued that either ethanol or biobutanol maybe used in gasoline running cars, but it seems that biobutanol won the bid because it now called biogasoline. Biogasoline is formed by acetone, butanol, and ethanol fermentation and through scientific modifications.

With social enlightenment and a newfound concern for the welfare of the environment more and more sustainable power resources are being discovered and invented. When all hope seems to have been lost a new glimmer looms on the horizon. It is heartening to see that men who cause the slow but sure death of the earth are trying to find ways to help it recover and be its vital self again.

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