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Biofuel Production: Global Scenario And Future Challenges

M. K. Mahapatra, A. Kumar
Published 2020 · Business

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Biofuels have evolved as the fuel of the future. The technology hungry era has resulted in pollution escalation and fossil fuel depletion like never before. The scientific quest for sustainable fuel options finally culminated with the biofuels. The biomasses for biofuel production are the best candidates for carbon fixation. The biomass mediated carbon capture and storage/utilisation is an excellent natural route for reduction of carbon footprint. The substrates for biofuels are food crops, non-food crops, and microalgae. The food-fuel issues have enforced the biofuel producers and policymakers to give up the practice of food crop usage. As of now biofuel production from lignocellulosic and microalgae is the only remaining viable option. Biofuel production methods are necessarily less energy-consuming ones as compared to their fossil fuel counterparts. Fermentation, transesterification, and hydrothermal liquefaction are some of the biofuel production methods. Biofuels like bioethanol, biodiesel, and biobutanol are getting used in transportation sector as flex-fuels. The current blending percentages for flex-fuels are as high as 20%. The physicochemical properties of biofuels mandate engine retrofitting for biofuel usage. Biofuel sustainability is an utmost requirement for its social and economic acceptance. Biofuels productions must not be done at the cost of reduction in food supplies. Simultaneously biofuel production process should not put adverse effects on land quality, water reservoirs, and biodiversity. The biofuel policies all over the globe are more or less the same. They necessarily enforce biofuel blending into petroleum fuels. The producers are provided with lucrative fiscal supports by governments. Tax exemptions, frequent regulation of raw materials prices, and guarantee for biomass sales for over a decade are now attracting many farmers to initiate energy cropping. All these efforts from different stakeholders are gradually transforming the global energy sector scenario.
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