Biofuels are fuel made through modern industrial processes from organic materials, not by the slow physical processes involved in the production of crude oil, like the geologist drilling for coal. Some people also use the words biofuel and biomass interchangeably, because biomass technically can actually be utilized as a fuel more easily (e.g. by wood logs).
However, biomass is a type of organic material and as such, it cannot be easily converted into usable energy. The process of converting biomass into usable biofuel does not require physical separation of the matter, as is required in the crude oil production process.
Reasons why biofuel is considered
There are many reasons why biofuels should be considered, including improved fuel efficiency and less pollution. There are also numerous ways to increase the use of biofuels. For example, Ethanol and Methanol, both derived from plant life, are common in gasoline and other diesel products today.
In addition, Ethanol can also be used to produce heat for homes, as well as to turn household garbage into fertilizer. Biomass can also be utilized to generate electricity in power generators.
One of the best-known examples of biofuels is sugar cane. Used as an agricultural feedstock, sugar cane has been converted to sugar, biodiesel, and energy through the process of dehydration and ethanol ification.
Although sugar cane is not the only crop being converted to ethanol, it is one of the most widely studied and therefore, popularly known. Other crops that are commonly used to produce biofuels include alfalfa, switch grasses, wheat, corn, and sugar cane.
In addition to crops, algae are also being used to produce biofuels. Algae are used as a biofuel because they are a plentiful and natural resource. They have created their own industry in terms of breeding, extraction, and utilization.
Additionally, algae have become a large part of our society because of their versatility. From using algae to make beer to using algae to fuel cars, algae are proving that they can be easily adapted to our society.
As stated above, there are many different types of algae. Some of the more common types include seaweed, cellulosic, brown algae, blue algae, green algae, and marine algae. It is important to note that many algae types require special types of growing conditions, different nutrient concentrations, temperatures, and pH levels in order to thrive.
Key Player in Biofuel Industry
The United States government has been a key player in the biofuel industry. In fact, the fuel ethanol industry was created as a result of the encouragement given by both the Bush administration and the Obama administration. Because of federal support, there is an abundant amount of biofuel research and development going on at this very moment.
The potential for use of biofuels around our country and around the world is being discussed and more support is being given to the biofuels industry.