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Popular Sources Of Biofuels

Corn for ethanol

As the world seeks more and more ways to create eco-friendly energy sources, biofuels seem to be one of the best answers.

Over the last few years, biofuels have been praised as being the best alternatives for fossil fuels in order to make the air cleaner. This is because they do not pollute the environment as much as the current fossil fuel sources. Furthermore, they can be much cheaper than petrol based fuels.

Sources Of Biofuels

Biofuels are produced today from the following major sources.

Cooking Oil

This is one of the most popular sources of biofuels today. Why?

Cooking oil is much easier to find. This is because it is used in a large number of households and commercial entities that serve food. As such, biofuel companies can get into arrangements on how to collect the cooking oil.

Once it is delivered to the factory, the cooking oil goes through a chemical process that cleans it and removes all impurities from it. After that goes through further processing until is suitable to be used as a fuel in vehicles and plant machinery.

Cooking oil is also used to produce other products such as soap and even animal feed.


Another source of biofuels is represented by corn. Corn is the largest agricultural crop today and is set aside for the production of biofuel. Once harvested and processed, corn used to produce ethanol.

Corn-ethanol is a very popular alternative fuel because is derived from plant crops. Being a biofuel, it is cleaner than gasoline and has little to no impact on the environment.

However, the production of biofuels using corn has been met with a lot of controversy. This is because, the corn used to produce ethanol for fuel, is the same corn that could have been used as food for people. This means that using corn for biofuels production may affect the production of crops for food.


Sugarcane is another popular source of ethanol. Many sugarcane plantations and factories around the world, in addition to the production of sugar also produce ethanol.

Brazil is one of the largest sugar producers in the world, and the biofuels like ethanol that are produced from sugarcane are also highly popular in the country.

With the large production of ethanol from sugarcane, Brazil has managed to produce biofuels on a large scale. Due to this successful experiment made in the country, sugarcane is considered one of the major sources of biofuels.


This is a crop that grows largely in Canada. Is used today to produce a highly popular cooking oil known as the canola oil.

Canola oil as food, is popular for its low levels of cholesterol, so is considered among the healthiest oils used for cooking.

Besides cooking, canola is also a popular source of biofuels. It can be easily and cheaply converted into a biofuel.

When burned as fuel, releases a small amount of emissions, which means that is more friendly to the environment than gasoline and diesel fuel. It burns more efficiently than common fossil fuels used every day in our vehicles.

Challenges Facing The Biofuels Industry

Biofuels are still produced today using food sources such as corn or other crops for food, and only a small amount of biofuels is produced from algae or waste products (used cooking oil, animal fats, etc.).

Availability Of Land

Biofuels are produced from crops that consume a large amount of natural resources such as fertile arable lands and fresh water. The problem with these natural resources is represented by the fact that they are limited, so we rather used them to produce food instead of fuels.

As the number of people on the planet continues to grow, the food demand will grow as well, so the natural resources of the planet such as fertile arable lands and fresh water will no longer be used to produce biofuels.

Made From Food Sources

Another challenge faced by the biofuel industry is represented by the fact that some of them are made from corn. Corn is one of the most important sources of food on the planet both for people and animals, but at the same time is used to produce biofuels such as ethanol.

Using corn for ethanol production increases the food prices due to the fact that the supply of corn decreases because the crop is used not only by the food industry, but also by the biofuels industry.


There are several sources of biofuels on the planet today, and some of them are also used for food production.

Luckily, we can produce biofuels from energy crops and waste products such as wood waste, agricultural waste, commercial, domestic, and even industrial waste.

Used cooking oil is another waste product used to produce biodiesel, algae can be used in a controlled environment to produce biofuels as well.

All these sources of biofuels are growing today, so they will slowly eliminate the need to use crops for food in the manufacturing process of these cleaner fuels that can reduce the level of air pollution in our cities.

Article written by:

I write about the renewable energy sector, electric cars and climate change issues. I love nature and good food, so I travel all over the world to see new places and meet new people. Magda Savin

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