Biotechnology for Biofuels

A biofuel is a fuel that is produced by contemporary biological processes, such as agriculture and anaerobic digestion, rather than a fuel produced by geological processes such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels such as coal and Oil, from prehistoric biological material. Biofuels can come directly from plants, or indirectly from agricultural, commercial, domestic and / or industrial wastes. Renewable biofuels typically involve the fixation of contemporary carbon, such as those that occur in plants or microalgae through the process of photosynthesis. Other renewable biofuels are made from the use or conversion of biomass (referring to living organisms recently, most often referring to plants or plant-derived materials). This biomass can be converted into suitable energy substances in three different ways: thermal conversion, chemical conversion and biochemical conversion. This conversion of the biomass can result in a fuel in solid, liquid or gaseous form. This new biomass can also be used directly for biofuels.

Bioethanol is an alcohol obtained by fermentation, mainly from carbohydrates produced in sugar or starch cultures such as corn, sugar cane or sweet sorghum. Cellulosic biomass, derived from non-food sources, such as trees and grasses, is also developed as a raw material for ethanol production. Ethanol can be used as fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is usually used as an additive to increase octane and improve vehicle emissions. Bioethanol is widely used in the United States and Brazil. The current design of the facility does not convert the lignin portion of the plant raw materials into fuel components by fermentation.

Biodiesel can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but is usually used as a diesel additive to reduce the levels of particulate matter, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in diesel vehicles. Biodiesel is produced from oils or fats by trans esterification and is the most common biofuel in Europe.

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