What are the differences between Biofuel, Bioethanol, Biodiesel, and Biogas?

Large-scale commercial biogas projects are proving viable globally. Nordic countries such as Norway and Finland are on board with 1/3 of Oslo city buses powered by biogas from sewage.

The Sustainability Co-Op

By Lauren DeMates.

Put simply, biofuel is energy made from living matter, usually plants. Bioethanol, biodiesel, and biogas are types of biofuels. Biofuels are considered renewable energies, emit less than fossil fuels, and have received increasing attention in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Bioethanol (aka ethanol) is the most well know biofuel and is an alcohol produced from corn, sorghum, potatoes, wheat, sugar cane, even cornstalks and vegetable waste. It is commonly blended with gasoline. However, plants grown specifically for any type of biofuel are not ideal due to the energy required, environmental impacts, and emissions associated with harvest and transport; not to mention the subsequent increase in global food prices. However, bioethanol production in the U.S. (mostly corn) has been increasing since the 1990s. Almost all gasoline currently sold in the U.S. is 10% ethanol due to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which dictates the amount of renewable fuel that refiners…

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2 thoughts on “What are the differences between Biofuel, Bioethanol, Biodiesel, and Biogas?

  1. We have very good potential to farm the biofuel like Biogas -Methane instead of growing excess material to the market, and save import of fuel by promotion of Biogas all over the country, at very resonable price like 0.5 USD / Kg (pure methane), and should be connected through PNG pipeline.

  2. What is really a biofuels? Bio-fuels are nothing but an additives to petroleum based fuels. Therefore it can never be a substitute to petroleum based fuel oil.
    This Act specifically described and defined Biofuels as Fuel Additives: (Sic)
    SEC. 3. Definition of Terms.
    As used in this Act, the following terms shall be taken to mean as follows:

    d) Biodiesel – shall refer to Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) or mono-alkyl esters derived from
    vegetable oils or animal fats and other biomass-derived oils that shall be technically proven and approved by the DOE for use in diesel engines, with quality specifications in accordance with the Philippine National Standards (PNS);

    e) Bioethanol Fuel – shall refer to hydrous or anhydrous bioethanol suitably denatured for use as motor fuel, with quality specifications in accordance with the PNS;
    SEC. 5. Mandatory Use of Biofuels. – Pursuant to the above policy, it is hereby mandated that all liquid fuels for motors and engines sold in the Philippines shall contain locally-sourced biofuels components as follows:
    5.1 Within two (2) years from the effectivity of this Act, at least five percent (5%) bioethanol shall comprise the annual total volume of gasoline fuel actually sold and distributed by each and every oil company in the country, subject to the requirement that all bioethanol blended gasoline shall contain a minimum of five percent (5%) bioethanol fuel by volume: Provided, That the ethanol blend conforms to PNS.
    5.3 Within three (3) months from the effectivity of this Act, a minimum of one percent (1%) biodiesel by volume shall be blended into all diesel engine fuels sold in the country: Provided, That the biodiesel blend conforms to PNS for biodiesel.
    Within two (2) years from the effectivity of this Act, the NBB created under this Act is empowered to determine the feasibility and thereafter recommend to DOE to mandate a minimum of two percent (2%) blend of biodiesel by volume which may be increased taking into account considerations including but not limited to domestic supply and availability of locally-sourced biodiesel component.

    Bio-gas is a methane gas.

    Wisdom may come late, but it’s seldom never arrives.
    You Want The Truth? Can We Handle The Truth?
    Are we just doing the best that we can? Or we did our best, but our best is not enough!

    FATTY ACID METHYL ESTER [FAME] IFICATION or Trans [ester] ification Transesterification
    In organic chemistry, transesterification is the process of exchanging the alkoxy group of an ester compound by another alcohol. These reactions are often catalyzed by the addition of an acid or base.
    Rancidification:
    Rancidification is the decomposition of fats and other lipids by hydrolysis and/or oxidation. Hydrolysis will split fatty acid chains away from the glycerol backbone in glycerides. These free fatty acids can then undergo further auto-oxidation. Oxidation primarily occurs with unsaturated fats by a free radical-mediated process.
    Redox (Redirected from Oxidation)
    Redox reactions include all chemical processes in which atoms have their oxidation number (oxidation state) changed.
    This can be a simple redox process, such as the oxidation of carbon to yield carbon dioxide, it could be the reduction of carbon by hydrogen to yield methane (CH4), or a complex process such as the oxidation of sugar in the human body, through a series of very complex electron transfer processes.
    The term redox comes from the two concepts of reduction and oxidation. It can be explained in simple terms:
    Oxidation describes the loss of an electron by a molecule, atom or ion
    Reduction describes the gain of an electron by a molecule, atom or ion
    Combustion of hydrocarbons, e.g. in an internal combustion engine, produces water, carbon dioxide, some partially oxidized forms such as carbon monoxide and heat energy. Complete oxidation of materials containing carbon produces carbon dioxide.

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