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Biofuel Info | Production & Facts

A Biofuel is a fuel extracted from organic matter whose energy has been obtained through a process of carbon fixation. Biofuel is made up of hydrocarbons containing the embodied energy of the organic matter and can be used as a fuel source.

A Biofuel is derived (usually) from once-living organisms. The hydrocarbons released from this process are rich in energy

Biofuels can also be made through TRU pyrolysis using organic matter (called biomass) to make fuel. (Eg; bio-diesel, methanol & ethanol.)

Biofuel is made up of hydrocarbons
Biofuel is made up of hydrocarbons

The key difference between Biofuel, and Fossil fuel:

  • Biofuel is a renewable form of energy because it is obtained from organic matter that is abundant and forever being re-created in short time frames. Biofuels are derived from biomass formed through a process of carbon fixation. Carbon fixation is the conversion of in-organic carbon (such as Carbon Dioxide) into organic carbon. Plants manufacture food using sunlight (solar energy) in a process called photosynthesis, which converts this solar energy into chemical energy. Biomass which is mainly composed of dead plant matter, has a large amount of embodied energy. When biomass is used as a fuel source it is regarded as a Biofuel. In environmental waste education, ideally to have most beneficial impact it would utilise biological wastes from farming or food production rather than displacing food production or forested areas.
  • Fossil fuel on the other hand take millions of years to form. They too are organic hydrocarbons, primarily coal, fuel oil or natural gas, formed from the remains of plants and animals.


The important difference between Biofuel and fossil fuels, is that Biofuel is renewable. Fossil fuels are in imminent danger of running out, or becoming economically non-viable.

Biofuel can be produced from a number of different compounds including proteins, fats, and alcohols. All of these hydrocarbons are a result of carbon fixation.