Biofuels originate from biomass and serve as alternatives to traditional fossil fuels. They may come from any source that is renewable and originated by biological means. The development of biofuels around the globe has been divided into generations, with the first generation providing the most significant variety of fuels. Later generations expand on these original sources and mostly refer to new processes of distilling energy.1st Generation “fuels that have been derived from sources like starch, sugar, animal fats and vegetable oil (BioFuel.org.uk)
- Bioalcohols: Fermented sugar or corn alcohols, including ethanol, propanol, and butanol
- Biodiesel: Biomass that has chemically reacted with methanol and sodium hydroxidecan be used in diesel tanks when mixed with mineral diesel
- Biogas: Methane produced from biodegradable waste and creates fertilizer as a byproduct
- Solid fuels: biomass that can be directly burned or ground into a more dense form and burned
- Syngas: Biofuel converted into carbon monoxide and pyrolysed into energy
- Vegetable oil: Lower quality vegetable oil can be processed into biodiesel or heated and used as fuel
2nd Generation Made by splitting the lignin and cellulose within plants and fermenting the cellulose into alcohol3rd Generation Biofuels produced from the photosynthetic process in algae4th Generation (Current/Upcoming) Scientists are experimenting with new processes (gasification, pyrolysis, solar chemicals, genetic engineering, et al.) to create the new generation of biofuels.