MANUAL Published: 29 April 2013

Biofuels and Biorefineries


“Biofuel” is a generic term to designate fuels that are produced from biological raw materials. Although the term “biofuel” applies to any fuel, it commonly refers to liquid biofuels, especially when it is used as transport fuel. Biofuels for transport is an “old” modern subject. In fact, biofuel was proposed as a feed for internal combustion engines from the beginning of automotive industry. During the 20th century there were several unsuccessful attempts to develop the use of biofuels as automotive energy supply, but cheap fossil resources made biofuel a noncompetitive option. Recently, biofuel was identified again as an alternative fuel, mainly because of the exponential growth of the concerns about crude oil supply. Today, technical barriers have been overcome, at least for low percentage blends of biofuel with conventional fossil fuels, but there are other challenges that biofuels have to face, like sustainability of massive biofuel production. Depending on the criteria considered in the certification schemes adopted, the future of biofuels (or more widely the bioenergy) could be uncertain. A brief description of current biofuels such as bioethanol, biobutanol, FAME, and biodiesel is presented in this chapter. The nature, production processes, end use, and future forecast for biofuels, as well as HVO, synthetic diesel from BTL, and DME are also included in this chapter. Finally, an analysis of future research needs on biofuels is discussed.

Author Information

Calle, José, Baro
Repsol S.A., Madrid, ES
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Developed by Committee: D02
Pages: 747–768
DOI: 10.1520/MNL5820131214432
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-8681-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7022-3