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What does the Future hold for Biofuels?

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In a bid to de-carbonize the transport sector, vehicles with different electrification standards receive the most attention. Even then, liquid fuels are expected to linger around a little longer due to the transmission infrastructure surrounding the globe distributing fuels with high energy per kilogram as compared to batteries.

This creates a gap in the market which is slowly getting filled by biofuels. The production of biofuels has continued to increase globally over recent years. Annual production of biofuels has increased to approximately 80 billion in the last few years from 10 billion in the early 2000s. A huge percentage of this development is pushed by governments focusing on alternative sources of fuel in a bid to minimize the globe’s dependability on fossil fuel. Read about the pros and cons of biofuels.

Biofuels have eradicated approximately 250 million metric tones of carbon according to studies carried out by MBP Solutions Ltd. This can be considered as the equivalent to eliminating 5 million vehicles off the road beginning the year 2007. First generation biofuel is also referred to as starch-based ethanol and defines a broad majority of biofuel that is included as a 10% mixture in gasoline presently.

From various developed countries, it is obtained from corn where corn sugars are purified in ethanol through a process similar to that involved in the making of whiskey. Currently, the production of corn has increased rapidly. In the same way, its conversion efficiency has also increased.

In order to maximize their objectives, individuals in the supply chain have come up with robust concepts. The distribution infrastructure, however, has not received similar enhancements which have caused unease with regards to a blend wall.

Corn Ethanol

Corn ethanol faces lots of criticism and objections. For instance, opponents of big environmental organizations, to the fact that it is a government program, and other petroleum entrepreneurs who view it as a competitor. Apart from all that, corn ethanol is a tremendous step towards achieving renewable clean liquid fuels that can be instrumental in minimizing carbon emissions.

Facts about Ethanol

Ethanol comes with a high octane rating meaning that by blending it into gasoline, one does not have to blend it with more expensive and hazardous additives to increase octane levels to the standard minimum of 87. This is a fact that many cost comparisons ignore.

In comparison with gasoline, ethanol energy per gallon is less. However, it comes with a high octane rating which plays a huge role in enabling it to produce more power in a high compression ratio engine. This explains why ethanol is used as the standard fuel in formula 1 racing cars.

New Corn Separation Procedures

New corn oil separation procedures allow experts to obtain food grade oil and enable them to make biodiesel. Corn production levels are currently on the rise which is aimed at keeping speed with the rising gasoline consumption. This has given rise to more corn related food products.

Many people opine that considering the energy needed to grow corn makes corn ethanol hardly net positive. However, this equation is presently improving with the enhancement of conversion efficiency and farm productivity. These improvements will, however, fade compared to the minimized carbon footprint made possible by cellulosic or second generation ethanol.

A plant’s woody parts are cellulosic. They can either be the stalks or leaves which do not have much food value. Cellulosic parts also include forestry residue, grass, and wood chips. This creates an opportunity for less energy robust plants which can grow without cultivation or fertilizers.

While starch oriented ethanol utilizes ancient distillation methods, obtaining sugars that are biochemically stored in cellulose was an unfamiliar method to many people. Many biotech startups are developing demonstration plants using different approaches in the present day.


Biofuel demand has been particularly high in the developed countries with many other countries across the globe expected to follow suit in coming years. Production of biofuel is driven by first-generation biofuel production obtained from crops which are also used as feedstock and human food. While first generation biofuels have been applauded as suitable alternative sources of energy, their production has encountered controversy specifically in terms of their effects on the feed and food market.



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