As we all know, biofuels is a renewable, alternative clean fuel that is derived from plants, industrial waste, agriculture and domestic waste. It is a non fossil fuel produces from biomass. We have already seen Biofuels, its types and advantages. Now let us see what liquid biofuels are, its types, advantages and facts to know about liquid biofuels.
What are Liquid Biofuels?
Biofuels are converted to the required form by three ways; they are namely chemical process that uses chemical agents for the breakdown, thermal process that uses heat energy for the breakdown of raw material and biochemical process that uses bacteria for the breakdown of raw materials. Biofuels can be broadly classified into solid biofuels and liquid biofuels. Solid biofuels are being used since ages for heating and lighting purposes. Some of the examples of solid biofuels include wood, sawdust, charcoal, agricultural waste, dry manure and firewood. Solid biofuels are also known as primary biofuels. Liquid biofuels on the other hand is used widely in industries and automobiles. Some of the commonly used liquid biofuels are biodiesel, bio ethanol, biogas, Biobutanol and biohydrogen. The energy released from biofuels is known as bioenergy.
Types of Liquid Biofuels
Bioethanol is one of the most promising liquid biofuels. It is a renewable source of energy that can be easily produces from fermentation of sugar from crops. In the fermentation process, the sugar required is from the energy crops. The commonly grown crops are corn, wheat crops, sorghum, maize, willow, reed canary grass and cord grasses. The production process of Bioethanol is as under;
- The first step is milling. Here using a mechanical crusher, cereal grains are crushed so that they release starch components.
- Now in the second stage, water and enzymes are added and heated so that the crushed components will be converted into fermentable sugars.
- Now again the mashed component is fermented using yeast and the sugar obtained is further converted into Bioethanol and carbon dioxide.
- The next step is distillation, concentration and cleaning of the Bioethanol produced.
- The final step in this process is drying and dehydration of Bioethanol.
Bioethanol can also be produced from wheat grains. The process is an under;
- The wheat is thoroughly cleaned. Now this is put in a grinding mill that separates the bran from the grain.
- In the second step, gluten is squeezed out of the grain.
- Enzymes are added to the mixture so that the wheat gets converted into fermentable carbohydrates. This can be again fermented into alcohol.
- During the fermentation process, carbon dioxide and alcohol is produced. The alcohol mixture is commonly called mash.
- Through the process of distillation, alcohol is separated from the mash.
- Now comes the rectification process. Here the alcohol is cleaned again.
- The final stage is dehydration or drying of alcohol. This process completely removes the water content in alcohol. The end result is extremely high quality and purity Bioethanol.
Biodiesel is another liquid biodiesel that is easily renewable. It is easily produces from waste animal fat and vegetable oil. It is biodegradable and causes very less pollution during burning. It can be mixed with petroleum diesel for vehicles. Cooking oil, animal fat and agricultural byproducts are the major ingredient that is used in the making of biodiesel. These ingredients go through a chemical process where in which the glycerin is extracted. The process of removal of glycerin is called transesterification. The end products of this reaction are methyl esters commonly known as biodiesel and glycerin that are widely used in the making of soaps. This biodiesel is being used in diesel engines with very little modifications. One of the major attractions of using biodiesel is that it helps to release dirt from the engines which otherwise accumulate fuel pipes and walls. This in turn reduces the capacity of the vehicle and even clogs the filters. The energy content in biodiesel is about 90% that of petroleum.
ADVANTAGES OF USING LIQUID BIOFUELS
- Renewable energy :
Liquid biofuels are renewable source of energy as compared to any other source. The main reason behind this is the fact that the raw materials used are plant waste, agricultural waste, domestic waste and commercial waste. All these are available in plenty and thus easily renewable.
- No pollution :
When these liquid biofuels are burned, minimal amount of carbon dioxide is emitted. All these come under green and Ecofriendly fuels. This in turn reduces pollution to a great extent.
- Engine performance is higher :
Liquid biofuels are used as an alternative in automobiles. Since it a clean and pure fuel, the performance of the vehicles improves and last longer.
- Healthier environment :
By using these biofuels, the pollution and carbon emission reduces which in turn adds to the quality of the air we breathe. This increases the general health of humans with a healthier life span.
- Protection of ozone layer :
As mentioned above, the emission of greenhouse gases by these liquid biofuels are comparatively less as compared to fossil fuels. It is toxin free. This protects the ozone layer in a great way from depletion. All other environmental issues like climate change will be under control.
- Energy efficient :
As per the studies, these liquid biofuels have proved to be more energy efficient as compared to diesel and petrol.
- Control over prices :
Liquid biofuels are a better alternative and economical. The prices of petrol and diesel are rising on a daily basis. So better and advanced technology should be developed in improving the quality and uses of liquid biofuels. This in turn controls the price of petrol and diesel. Thus this will have a positive impact on the economy as a whole.
Facts to know about liquid biofuel:
- Biodiesel has the highest energy balance.
- Biofuels can be used in cars and other vehicles
- Biodiesel is commonly added to petrol and diesel to reduce emission of carbon.
- The world’s largest producer of Bioethanol is the United States of America.
- As per studies, more than 1 billion gallons of biodiesel and 22 billion gallons of Bioethanol are produced annually.
- Biofuel can be in solid, liquid and even gaseous form.
Liquid biofuels can be considered an asset to the economy. Considering its availability, more in-depth studies and research should be conducted so that it can be wisely used. Awareness program should be conducted so that more people will know the benefits of using liquid biofuels. It can also be used as an alternative for diesel and petrol which will reduce the monopolization of fuel. Thus this renewable resource is a boom to the economy as a whole.