Biofuels

Definition

Biofuels are fuels produced from hydrocarbon-rich living organisms (biomass) — such as plants or microalgae — by thermal, chemical or biochemical conversion processes. As with fuels, biofuels such as biodiesel, biogas and syngas are combusted to generate energy.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Biofuels became controversial for compromising food production. Forest residue conversion to jet fuel is a second-generation biofuel that doesn’t compete with food. However, it has unexpected implications across the Sustainable Development Goals.

    • Sgouris Sgouridis
  • News and Views |

    Combining biofuel synthesis with petrorefinery operations may provide efficiency benefits, but procedures to do so are not yet well-established. Now, researchers describe a two-phase catalytic scheme for production of 10% bio-enriched gasoline by directly using petroleum fractions in the catalytic processing of (hemi)cellulose.

    • Katalin Barta
    Nature Energy 3, 917–918
  • News and Views |

    The sustainability of biomass production for energy depends on site-specific biophysical and socio-economic conditions. New research using high-resolution ecosystem process modelling shows the trade-offs between economic and environmental performance of biomass production for an ethanol biorefinery.

    • Floor van der Hilst
    Nature Energy 3, 164–165