Also known as: Renewable fuels
Biofuels are non-oil based fuels produced from agricultural products (e.g., bioethanol, biodiesel).
The use of biofuels is largely driven by government mandates that require a minimum level of biofuels blending.
Types of biofuels
There are a variety of different biofuels currently used to satisfy renewable fuels mandates, the most common are:
- Bioethanol - ethanol produced from agricultural sugars or starch (from corn, sugarcane, beets or wheat) through a fermentation process. Also small amounts produced from cellulosic feedstocks
- Biodiesel (FAME) - diesel blendstock produced from vegetable oils or animal fats using a transesterification process. Yields a diesel blendstock that can be blended in low volumes (typically 5%), limited by cold flow properties
- Renewable diesel - high-quality diesel blendstock produced from hydroprocessing of vegetable oils or animal fats
- Bio-ETBE - an ether produced from bioethanol and isobutylene used as a renewable gasoline blendstock, especially in Europe
Author: Tim Fitzgibbon, Refining Industry Sr. Expert