Biofuels for beginners | Definition, Type, Advantage

Biofuels are a source of energy derived from organic materials, both from plants and animals. The material is renewable, so you don't worry about running out.

The discovery of biofuels originated from an increasing need for greater energy. While the world is still dependent on fossil fuels. Even though the material is non-renewable, it means that it will run out if used continuously.

Biofuel, an alternative fuel, is starting to play an important role because the price of crude oil continues to increase sharply with limited availability. Biofuel is an alternative source of energy that can reduce the use of fossil fuels.


Complete types of biofuels with their characteristics

As a biofuel, there are various kinds of plants that can be used to create this energy material. For example, only plants that produce vegetable oil. Oil can be used as fuel for old diesel engines. Vegetable oil itself is often used to create biodiesel.

There are three most commonly used biofuel products, namely bioethanol, biodiesel and bio oil.

1. Biodiesel

Fuels that have chemical elements such as methyl, isopropyl and ethyl are included in alkyl esters. Biodiesel itself is made from organic materials such as castor oil, palm oil and the like. Its nature is similar to alternative fuels to meet the needs of diesel engines.

Biodiesel has several characteristics such as being able to reduce the level of smoke opacity and exhaust emissions. Its nature as an engine lubricant is better when compared to fossil fuels. When mixed with diesel fuel, it can increase biodegradability by up to 500 percent.

Another characteristic is that it does not contain aromatic compounds and nitrogen. Its content is sulfur which is less than 15 ppm. If it is used in an engine, it will increase the combustion efficiency because the weight of oxygen is 11 percent.

Biodiesel was created to replace diesel or diesel fuel for transportation and power plants.

2. Bioethanol

This fuel is very similar to diesel fuel and is also similar to gasoline. Made from vegetable sources such as plants that contain high sugar. For example sugar cane, sorghum, sap and many more.

There are a few characters it has like a high octane number making it great for machines. In addition, bioethanol can reduce smoke opaciti and all particulate emissions that are harmful to health.

The content and shape are similar to gasoline, making it unnecessary for additional vehicle engine modifications. Moreover, there is no lead compound which usually damages machines without causing technical problems.

Bioethanol itself was created to replace the targeted fuel by 10%.

3. Biogas

It is one of the types of biofuels made from fermented fuel from plants as well as animal and human waste. In the manufacturing process, the impurities are collected and then the gas released will be reprocessed into Biogas.

Its own characteristic is that it is cleaner than fuels such as coal so that its use is not limited to vehicles. Biogas is also often used to power electricity and stoves.

In the production process, the resulting carbon dioxide content is not high. Plus the power obtained is even higher. That way the energy obtained from this fuel is more profitable.

Every day the need for energy is getting bigger, but unfortunately the world is still dependent on fossil fuels. Even though the material is non-renewable, it means that it will run out if used continuously. So that Biofuel from Algae is the right choice at this time.

Biofuel is an alternative source of energy that can reduce the use of fossil fuels. Biofuels or biofuels are a source of energy derived from organic materials, both from plants and animals. The material is renewable, so you don't worry about running out.

Getting to know the Biofuel Generation

Before the existence of biofuel from Algae, this biofuel underwent metamorphosis, starting from the first to the third generation. The three generations are differentiated according to the source of the biofuel production. To find out more clearly, here are the generations of Biofuels that you should know, including:

1. First Generation Biofuels

In the first generation, biofuels are produced from food sources, which contain starch, sugar or vegetable oils, such as corn, cassava, and sweet potatoes. The method of biofuel extraction for these three compounds does not require a complicated process

It's just that the application of biofuels has a lot of controversy, first the dilemma between food and energy. Considering that there are still many people who are hungry and in food crises, it is feared that the use of this energy material could disrupt the availability of food needs in the future. Not only that, the first generation of biofuels also requires a large area of ​​land to handle the necessary resources so we have to cut down forests to clear land.

2. Second Generation Biofuels

In the second generation, the production of biofuels uses materials that contain lignocellulosic, such as wood and agricultural waste. The production of biofuels is a little more complex than the first generation because it does not require foodstuffs, so there is no problem with food availability. In this generation, the manufacture of biofuels can reduce waste and can take place in a sustainable manner.

3. Third Generation Biofuels

The third generation is biofuel from algae. Algae or algae are single-celled (unicellular) or multicellular (multicellular) plants that have very high growth rates in marine or freshwater. The algae plant has a species count above 50,000.

Algae as a renewable biofuel. Microalgae are more widely used for production compared to macroalgae, because of their simpler structure and faster growth.

Microalgae cultivation can be done in an open pond or using a special machine called a bioreactor incubation. When compared to crops such as oil palm or jatropha, algae can produce the least per hectare such as 15 times as much oil product.

Based on comparison data with petroleum production, the potential for microalgae is greater where 1 hectare of microalgae cultivation can produce 2 barrels of oil per day, while petroleum fields can only produce 0.83 barrels of oil per day. So do not be surprised if biofuel from Algae is the right choice today.

Algae can grow in many countries without the need for fertile soil or fresh water. Algae production is also not a matter of land, Algae soils can be cultivated in any waters, oceans or even waste ponds, the most important thing is that they are exposed to sufficient air and sunlight for photosynthesis.

Those are the 3 generations of biofuels that you should know about. It turns out that biofuel from algae is included in the third generation. Each of these biofuels has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, with this biofuel, it is hoped that fossil energy resources will not run out quickly.

Types of advantages and disadvantages of biofuels

When viewed from the benefits, of course there are many advantages that can be obtained from this organic fuel. Even so, there are still two sides that are given, namely the advantages and disadvantages of biofuels. The main advantage obtained from biofuel is that it is cheaper than crude oil.

In addition, when used as vehicle fuel, emissions are not as much as fuel. Thus, this energy includes green energy with low pollution. Because it is not easy to create low-polluting fuels.

However, this only occurs in several other types such as bio oil or bioethanol. For example, the impact of pollution is actually higher in one of its types, namely biodiesel made from palm oil. It is estimated that biodiesel has higher levels of carbon dioxide emissions due to deforestation. This often occurs in developing countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

Oil palm trees planted on a large scale in Sumatra and Kalimantan are now killing millions of hectares of tropical forest. Harvested and processed palm oil is estimated to have created 33 tonnes of carbon, which is 10 times the carbon produced by gasoline.

So if the claim about biodiesel is safe but there is no solution regarding forests then it is the same, carbon dioxide cannot be processed and the amount is actually increasing. Many researchers believe that this organic fuel also has a major negative impact on food availability and environmental preservation.

Many countries are diverting land to plant oil palm and other crops that are a source of making biofuels. It is this factor that creates deforestation, resulting in reduced food. It is a big dilemma when farmers want to produce better harvests with higher returns, while the biggest profits come from planting oil palm.

Apart from the shortcomings of deforestation, there are also comments about the advantages of biofuels as a substitute for coal. In some countries, coal is still used even though this energy source is known to be the dirtiest. With the existence of Biofuel, several tools that were previously run on coal have switched to using this energy. Positive impacts were also obtained, such as climate change which began to decrease.

In the early days of the creation of biofuels, the problem of using food as fuel continued to emerge. Where many people still lack food to starve. The depletion of foodstuffs certainly affects the price more increasing.

Until now, Biofuel continues to be a debate in the community. Does this fuel have to be continued. These are the advantages and disadvantages of Biofuel, which is now a fuel to replace BBM as well as problems that continue to emerge.

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