In recent years, the European Union has set out to patent an energy source to replace fossil fuels and has opted for electrification. However, this option does not adapt to the majority of countries or their citizens. Therefore, science has brought other options to the table such as hydrogen or biofuels. But what are first, second, and third-generation biofuels?
This type of fuel is obtained from natural or organic resources, meaning they have a vegetable and animal origin (biomass). This type of energy comes from non-fossil and biological materials, so they can be agricultural and forestry waste. To obtain energy from these materials, it is necessary to undergo a thermochemical process (combustion, pyrolysis, and gasification), making the energy obtained qualify as bioenergy, as it comes from renewable energy.
Its organic origin neutralizes the carbon dioxide generated during combustion. Biofuels can be found in solid, liquid, and gaseous forms and can be extracted, for example, from wood. But what are the advantages of using biofuels?
Advantages and disadvantages
This type of fuel has numerous advantages over other options.
- They generate electricity, heat, or movement.
- It is an inexhaustible renewable energy source.
- Minimizes emissions of carbon dioxide and sulfur.
- Efficient energy source.
- Use in combustion vehicles using current infrastructures.
However, there are also disadvantages such as:
- Energy production still generates emissions.
- It is not a widespread method.
The objective to achieve is that this process is 100% sustainable and can be implemented without problems. In this process, CO2 is extracted from the atmosphere and used for the production of biofuels, making them fuels with net zero emissions.
Types of biofuels
The creation of biofuels involves transforming organic origin materials through mechanical or thermochemical processes. Depending on the origin of the raw material, it will be classified into a different type of biofuel:
This is biofuel created from agricultural crops that help reduce the carbon footprint. Bioethanol or biodiesel would fall into this classification.
This is material obtained from food, that is, waste from the agri-food industry such as oil. By allocating this type of waste to the creation of biofuels, it prevents them from reaching landfills, such as biogas or biomethane.
These are biofuels from algae or aquatic plants containing natural oil. Although this biofuel is not very widespread in the commercial world, some studies point to it as an undeniable option.
Finally, there are fourth-generation biofuels that genetically modify microorganisms and improve carbon dioxide uptake. This type has not yet begun to be commercialized, but in Brazil or the United States, there are already plants that could be useful.
At Plenoil, we continue to advocate for a possible transition for everyone, without leaving anyone behind. It is important to put all available options on the table and adopt a model that suits the majority of citizens. We advocate for the purchase of more efficient cars to mitigate our carbon footprint while enabling a fair transition.