Improving Biofuels for a Greener World

An increasing number of people are becoming aware of the immense potential of the alternative fuels. We know that the challenges posed by fossil fuels make biofuels an extremely important replacement. While traditional fuels continue to make up 80% of today’s energy, the list of risks and harm they produce is endless. This is where biofuels come in.

According to many, one of the most promising types of renewable fuel available at the moment is the algae-derived one. It can be used to produce biodiesel, bioethanol as well as biogas. The improvements in production processes of these biofuels are implemented to increase their viability. This article discusses various ways to achieve this goal.

Biomass Pretreatment

The pretreatment process is responsible for maximising the release of sugars, to which yeast is added for production of bioethanol and microorganisms are added to produce biogas.

By improving the efficiency of the algae pretreatment, the extraction of biofuels could be made smoother and more efficient.

There are many different types of methods available for pretreatment of biomass such as mechanical pretreatment or steam explosion pretreatment. But different factors need to be considered in order to choose the method that is most advantageous.

Fermentation

By using bacteria instead of yeast for production of bioethanol, the efficiency of fermentation process is expected to increase greatly. This can be attributed to the fact that bacterial fermentation requires much less time as compared to the traditional yeast fermentation, hence decreasing the time required for completion of the process.

However, this theory is currently still being tested which is why it is not a widely accepted option for now. One of the main concerns is that while bacteria may require less time for fermentation, it might not provide the same yield as yeast.

Advancements in Gasification

Up till now, there has been a strong emphasis on the usage of small-scale power generated biogas. This biogas can be used for commercial and domestic purposes via downgraft gasification technology. While this technology is promising, it may require huge investments for various processes like sizing and densification. Despite these concerns, such advancements are surely exciting for the field of biofuels.

Vehicle Technology

Over the past few decades, a number of innovative technologies have been introduced in an attempt to eliminate fossil fuels usage in favor of a greener future. Several advancements have been seen for instance in the form of solar vehicles and carbon-neutral technologies.

Biofuels continue to be an attractive alternative to fossil fuels for driving vehicles. Many cars designed after the year 2000 already have the ability to run on a bioethanol mix or biodiesel.

Apart from cars, other modes of transportation such as shipping and aviation are also likely to provide greater opportunities for biofuels in the future.

So it is quite evident that biofuels are indeed a promising alternative to the traditional fossil fuels. Future advancements will make these biofuels much more efficient while boosting their viability as a carbon-neutral type of fuel.

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