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Biofuels-Fuels based on Biotechnology 

Biologically produced fuels

Image credit to Eric Sanman / 

As we see all around us there are numbers of vehicles, industries, and other lots of things that utilize fuels. In our surrounding two types of energy sources, we can say the renewable sources of energy and non-renewable sources of energy. We used mostly fossil fuels as a major source of energy in our daily life purposes. Fossil fuels fall in the non-renewable source of energy category.

All of these fossil fuels emission causes harm to our environment that leads to global warming. We all very familiar with this ‘Global Warming’ term and there so many bad Impacts on the whole world. So, now it’s time to renew and replace this type of fuel that shows impacts on our environment and the health of human beings. 

So, here is the fuel name is ‘Biofuels’ that is eco-friendly in nature and solves all the problems that are not suitable for our environment and our health too. 


Biologically produced fuels that are known as biofuels. The production of biofuels is based on biomass. Biotechnology helped to utilize the energy from the biological system. Biologically generated fuels are like biohydrogen, biomethane, bioethanol, biodiesel, and biobutanol all of these fuels are biofuels that are derived from biomass.

Biomass is a total cellular dry weight or organic mass, produced by living organisms. Biomass is a good source of energy in the form of bioenergy. The chemical nature of biomass highly variable in nature, it depends upon the source that contributes to the biomass. 

Here, is the question that How we can utilize biomass for the production of biofuels?

The major source of biomass is natural vegetation, energy crops, agriculture, industrial, and urban organic wastes. All of this biomass is utilized for the production of biofuels. Biomass utilization can be in various forms based on the amount of water content present in the waste materials.

  1. Biomass which is low in moisture can be directly burnt by a process known as combustion that helps to generate electricity. 
  2. Biomass which is little in moisture can be used in dry chemical processes like pyrolysis that helps to produce methanol, oils, and ammonia.
  3. Biomass which is high in water content can be used in aqueous processes like fermentation that helps to produce ethanol, oils, and methane.

There are both useful and undesirable features of biofuels that are some glimpse of both features are:

Useful features 

  1. Biofuels are renewable, low cost, and locally available entailing litter.
  2. Low CO2 emission than fossil fuels.
  3. Helps to reduce green-house gas emission.
  4. No contribution to environmental pollution due to its Eco-friendly nature.
  5. Reduce reliance on fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, etc.
  6. Biomass and other waste materials that are often used as a substrate for biofuel production that may cause environmental pollution that further help in cleaning up the environment.

Undesirable features 

  1. The cost of production of biofuels 75% of the sale price. The product is generally of low value and low-profit margin.
  2. Needs a large space for this project.

Briefly explanation of some biofuels 


Biomethane also named biogas. The substrate used for the production of biomethane is farm and human wastes, municipal solid wastes, effluents from food and dairy industries, etc. For the production of biogas, a group of anaerobic microorganisms is used. 

The yield of biomethane is depended upon the type of waste, the temperature during digester operation, the retention time, and the presence of the inhibitors. Toxic components like ammonia, antibiotics, Nitrogen content, etc present in waste which may inhibit biomethane production. 

The Biomethane process is cheaper and much simple and ideal for small-scale applications. The recovery of this biofuel is spontaneous. It helps to clean up the environment. During the production aseptic conditions are not required. During the production of biomethane, there is less risk of explosion as compared to pure methane. 


Bioethanol is the most widely used biofuel for transport purposes. Bioethanol is a replacement for petrol interest shown by brazil and the USA in the 1980s. The most interesting fact of bioethanol that is hydrocarbon emission is drastically lower as compared to petrol because bioethanol burnt more completely that shows it is no harm to our environment. 

The substrate used for bioethanol is starch, sugar crops, and cellulosic waste. There are many microorganisms are used during production. List of microorganisms are:

  1. Bacillus licheniformis for amylase activity 
  2. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Zymomonas for sugar fermentation
  3. Trichoderma reesei act as a cellulase
  4. Saccharomyces cerevisiae for hexose fermentation
  5. Recombinant Escherichia coli for pentose fermentation 
  6. Clostridium spp. , Fusarium oxysporum for consolidated processing
  7. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Zymomonas for fermentation
  8. From synthesis gas, Clostridium ljungdahlii is used 

The cost of recovery of bioethanol is very cheap. The production of bioethanol is highly efficient and cost-effective. 


Diesel like liquid obtained from biomass that is biological origin is called biodiesel. It can be obtained from lipid accumulated in plants and algae and from hydrocarbons. The substrate used for the production of biodiesel is sunlight and carbon dioxide. Microorganisms that play an important role in biodiesel production are Monoraphridium minutum, Cyclotella crypticum, etc. Biodiesel friendly to the environment as compared to diesel.


Hydrogen itself is highly combustible due to this property hydrogen can be used as a fuel and can be used for the production of electricity. It is a versatile fuel therefore hydrogen can be used for automobiles, helicopters, and buses, etc. In subsonic and supersonic liquid hydrogen can be used as a fuel.

Biohydrogen production can be achieved by the biophotolysis process. Certain microalgae and cyanobacteria can help to generate biohydrogen.

Biomass is a renewable source of energy that has immense value in the future for the production of biofuels that is ecofriendly and also solves the problem of the world energy crisis. 


  1. Really interesting concept if opted by all the countries we cn get rid off alot of problems like global warming


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