Advantages And Disadvantages Of Biofuels

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Introduction Biofuels are any fuel that is obtained from animal or plant matter. It is a renewable source of energy that is becoming increasingly more popular. The reason for this is that the people of the world are beginning to accept that fuels like fossil oils and gas will eventually become too uneconomical to extract. When this happens, a renewable source will be required to meet 100% of our fuel needs. Biofuel also contributed essentially nothing to the carbon emissions; this is because the vegetables grown have absorbed carbon dioxide during their growth, making the carbon dioxide produced when they are burnt negligible. Fatty Acid Methyl Esters There are two main types of biofuels; biodiesel and bioethanol. Methyl ester is the chemical name for biodiesel. Biodiesel is an alternative fuel to diesel; it can be used for home heating or to power diesel car engines. It is generally made from organic oils such as sunflower, soybean rapeseed or corn oil but alternative sources are being explored. Biodiesel is also known as fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). FAME is produced by a trans esterification process where a glyceride is reacted with an alcohol usually with a catalyst. This reaction produces an alcohol and fatty acid esters. For example if triglyceride was used the reaction would produce glycerol as a by-product. The production of glycerol as a by-product makes the manufacture of biodiesel even more advantageous. [1] Valuable by-product Glycerol has many other

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