Electricity Generation


Can you generate electricity with biofuel?

For years, much have been said about biofuels and how these can be used in generating electricity. There are even some power generation plants that make use of biomass in producing fuel for heating and operating furnaces. However, there were claims that solid is more ideal for producing electricity through biofuel.

Key Qualities of Solid Biofuel

There were several proponents of solid biofuel as a means for generating power. The main point behind this is the obvious fact that storage is much easier and less complicated as with the case of liquid fuel. There is no need to build special tanks for solid biofuel, which reduces the hassle in building specialized containers for storage purposes.

Another practical feature of solid biofuel is there the convenience in terms of mobility. Soild fuel is burned on the site, and this is the only reason for transporting it. Since there is no problem with loading this type of fuel on a vehicle, then it is regarded as not only practical, but convenient, as well.

It is also worth noting that most facilities are generally tolerant of imperfections such as debris and contaminants. Fortunately, there is no need for biofuel to have a consistent quality for the purpose of generating electricity. With this in mind, the cost of storing biofuels is cheaper since it can produce power even if it is not entirely pure or has a consistent level of quality.

In addition, biofuel is renewable, so it is possible to reuse waste products for other purposes. Factories involved in paper production can reuse waste products in generating electricity and heat. Thus, this minimizes costs on heating, waste disposal and electricity. Overall, these help the environment due to reduced emissions and pollutants.

Challenges with Biofuel

While biofuel may offer numerous benefits and functions in terms of energy production for transportation, heating and electricity generation, there are some concerns to take into account. The use of waste biomass may be inexpensive, yet it can be far from being economical to grow crops for the sake of burning them and generating power.

There is also a concern with biomass as being pollutants. Since one of the goals is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there are studies on how to generate electricity without having to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Hence, solar power and wind power have received much attention from scientists since these are cleaner and greener alternatives to power production. Although the technologies linked with these alternatives are also intricate and challenging to implement as with biofuels, the reduction in emissions is a striking difference between the two.

Further Details on Biofuels

Biofuels come in different forms such as liquid and solid. Liquid biofuels are obtained from oils including soybean oil, palm oil, rapeseed oil, and animal fats (chicken fat and tallow). There are also waste materials including sewage that may be used in growing algae, which can be used as fuel.

It has been predicted that there is a possibility for fuel obtained from algae to produce about 30 times more energy for every acre than what soybeans and other crops can generate.

There are also liquid biofuels with a normal state in the form of solid. However, once heated, this material turns into a liquid that contains a combustible form of energy. As discussed previously, solid biofuel is more commonly preferred because of the ease in storage and transportation.

Biodiesel has gained popularity due to its use as a main fuel source. In fact, it can be used to fuel engines whether alone or combined with regular petroleum diesel. Biodiesel is formed with the combination of animal fats or vegetable oils and ethanol or methanol.

This type of fuel contains the same properties that can be found in diesel fuel that is petrochemical-based. However, it is important to make sure that the engine is designed to take in biodiesel to prevent any adverse impacts. It is essential to consult your car dealer or manufacturer to ensure the proper functioning of the vehicle if you intend to use biodiesel.

Bottom Line

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To sum it up, biofuel can be used to generate electricity, as well as in running vehicles. Yet, there is a need for further studies in terms of its production and usage to counteract the massive expenses linked with growing plants for power generation purposes.

What is biofuel used for?

Bio Diesel

Nowadays, there is an increasing concern with the issue on problems generated by the use of petroleum products. For instance, a problem with carbon dioxide emissions has been an on-going concern all over the world because of its link with climate change. Unfortunately, petroleum is used for transportation, which is also producing a chain of problems including asthma and other disorders due to exhausts from diesel.

With all these in mind, it may be worth looking into the possibility of using a renewable, biological-based products that can replace gasoline, diesel fuel and other pollutants. Thus, biofuel gets into the limelight as a potential investment in supplying the world’s need for energy without causing serious damages to the planet.

Biofuel Key Facts

Biomass is the source of bio-based products including biofuels. Basically, biomass pertains to living and dead organic and biologic matters that are used for industrial production, as well as fuel. These materials include manure, sugarcane and wood, to name a few.

It is also important to note that there are different categories of biofuels such as biodiesel and ethanol. Both of these can be used in transportation, although the sources vary. Biodiesel come from soybeans while ethanol is from either sugarcane or corn.

There are also other types of biomass used for producing heat or electricity such as methane obtained from manure piles for electricity or heat production and wood chips burned to generate steam from boiling water. This produces electricity through the spinning of turbines.

Biofuels are used for different purposes such as to produce electricity and for operating vehicles. These can take the place of oil that is used in running trucks or cars that rely on refined oil. As for electricity, there is an eco-friendly option instead of using nuclear power and coal. Wind turbines and solar power may be used to provide electricity for commercial or residential settings.

Uses of Biofuel

Considering the increasing concern with climate change, global warming and immense level of pollution, scientists are conducting research on a safer, cleaner and greener option to nuclear power, coal and traditional means of supplying the world’s energy needs. Here are the possible functions of biofuel and uses, as well as potential environmental concerns that come with it.


According to researchers, there is about 25 percent demand on energy when it comes to transportation, and about 62 percent of oil is consumed. About 2/3 of this amount of energy is burned for the sake of operating vehicles, and the remaining percentage goes to infrastructure, harvesting of raw materials and manufacturing. Also, over 70 percent of energy consumed goes into transportation, with a higher rate devoted to operating private cars.

At present, there is not a huge amount of oil left, and this can lead to serious problems unless there is a better alternative to it. Although solar and wind are some popular alternatives to oil, some claim that these are not practical sources. It requires more amounts of stored electricity from these sources to power vehicles. Hence, scientists are aiming to find the best replacement fuel that contains similar qualities in oil without causing adverse effects to the environment.

Biofuels, such as algae-based ones, have been one of the proposed alternatives to oil. It was noted that algae contain lipid, which may be transformed into methanol, butanol, ethanol and diesel. Since algae naturally absorb carbon dioxide throughout the production of lipid, there is expected to be a minor effect on the environment. Also, biofuels are biodegradable, which means there is minimal harm in case they spill (unlike the adverse damages caused by fossil fuels).

Power Supply

Alternative energy is largely needed to produce electricity, which is the main use of fuel. A high percentage of energy comes from coal (41 percent), and the remaining percentages are from natural gas (21 percent), hydro, nuclear and oil sources. After fuel is burned, a small amount of 39 percent is responsible for producing energy while the remaining ones are lost and released as heat. Just 3 percent of the heat lost is used for the purpose of co-generation.

Based on estimates by researchers, at least 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from power generation, and the other percentage comes from transportation. Since coal produces sulfur dioxide, it is responsible for acid rain production. With this in mind, there is a need for a renewable and clean form of energy that will not deplete the earth’s natural resources or damage the planet.

Biofuels offer an environmental-friendly solution to this concern with pollution and emissions linked with power generation. In fact, in the United Kingdom, landfill gas is used to power as much as 350,000 households. Yet, there are further studies to be done since one concern is the fact that the supply may not be enough to meet the world’s energy demands.

What is Biofuel?

Bio Fuel

What is biofuel, and how can we benefit from it? Here, we explore some interesting facts about biofuel, how it is obtained and its uses in today’s modern world.

The Basics on Biofuel

Biofuel is a type of fuel produced through a process called biological carbon fixation. This type of process involves the conversion of inorganic carbon such as carbon dioxide into an organic compound.

The molecule found in the product that results from biological carbon fixation is similar to what living organisms have. In the case of carbon fixation that takes place in a living organism, this is considered as biological.

Carbon fixation can also produce various compounds including alcohols, fats and proteins. Once the molecules in these compounds are used to supply energy, they function as a fuel. Hence, biofuel is the product of this process of transforming carbon dioxide in a type of organic compound for energy generation or fuel.

Aside from biological means, biofuels can be produced through chemical reactions. The entire process takes place in a few days to months. However, with fossil fuel, millions of years may be required before fuel is produced.

The most important component to create biofuel is carbon dioxide that will be changed into another molecule. Then, the final product is completed in a shorter amount of time instead of millions of years, such as in the case of how fossil fuels are made.

What about Biomass?

It is also worth noting that there is such a thing as biomass, which refers to dead materials or organic matter. Examples of biomass are stalks of sugar and corn kernels, and these are all renewable materials.

On the contrary, fossil fuels have limited supply expected to run out in the next period of years. Thus, it may be beneficial to start producing hydrocarbons to provide demands for energy in a quicker manner.

Both biofuel and biomass are renewable, and these are produced quickly and more efficiently with the use of sustainable farming methods. It is possible to replace biofuel that are already used within a shorter period, unlike in the case of fossil fuel that forms after millions of years.

Biofuel Types

There are different types of biofuels, which come with varied chemical structures. The following are various types of biofuels and their functions.


The main benefit of ethanol is the fact that it burns cleaner with less carbon monoxide, as compared to gasoline. There is also a need to use more ethanol to obtain equal amounts of energy that gasoline offers.

Moreover, engines should be modified to be made compatible to function when ethanol is used on them. As for the smog production, ethanol is observed to produce a greater level of ozone than what gasoline can generate.


This biofuel comes in the form of liquid. In terms of transportation, it is rather convenient since there is no need to compress it as what requires to be done with methane because it is in gas form. When compared to methane, methanol has one-half more energy to supply demands for power.


The best thing about biodiesel is the little amount of sulfur compounds and particulate produced. It also burns much cleaner than regular diesel. However, there is a concern when it comes to its energy component since it is less than what is found in standard diesel. Furthermore, engines need to be altered to become compatible with biodiesel, otherwise, the engine parts will corrode easily.


The energy component in biobutanol is less than what gasoline has. Nevertheless, it is enough to power a car that normally runs on gasoline. There is also no need to modify a vehicle’s engine before it can use biobutanol.

Additional Facts about Biofuel

It has been years since biofuels were invented, and even Ford’s Model T vehicle was designed originally to function with ethanol. When it comes to the production of biofuel, scientists have discovered that it would be possible to produce it in a nearly unlimited amount due to its renewable quality.

However, there is an immense demand for energy in today’s world, and with the little amount of land area left for farming, it may be difficult to produce a larger supply of biofuel.