Ethanol is alcohol fuel derived from sugars found in crops such as rice, potato skins and sugarcane and it is commonly made from corn, sorghum and wheat. Corn is commonly the base material in the United States due to its affordability and availability. But in Brazil, sugarcane is widely used. Since it is produced from plants, it is considered biodegradable and renewable. It is definitely a clear, colorless alternative alcohol fuel. Presently, various methods are used in making ethanol from biomass-an organic material. The fermentation of sugars and starch in corn with the use of yeast is the most frequently method utilized. From starch, it is fermented into sugar, afterwards it is fermented again into alcohol.
For more info on Bioethanol feedstock.

Biodiesel is primarily produced from a chemical reaction of alcohol (commonly methanol) and a wide range of fats which include vegetable or animal oils and plant extracts such as corn, soybean, canola, and sunflowers. This reaction gets rid of the by-product glycerin which is not suitable for the engines through a refinery process termed as transesterification. The glycerin that is removed in turn can be made into soaps. During the transesterification process, other byproducts such as methyl esters are also left behind. Biodiesel is then free from such materials as sulfur and aromatics which are contained in traditional fuels that in turn will substantially facilitate in the reduction of harmful emissions from diesel-fed engines.

Bioethanol production process
biodiesel production schedule
click picture to enlarge schedule
click picture to enlarge schedule

click picture
to enlarge schedule


Biofuels can make a big difference in improving our environment, helping our economy, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
This page tells all about biofuels research by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass Program.

Petroleum diesel and gasoline, besides the fact that they're a non-renewable fossil fuel depending on resources that eventually run out, consist of blends of hundreds of different hydrocarbon chains. Many of these are toxic, volatile compounds such as benzene, toluene, and xylenes, which are responsible for the health hazards and pollution associated with combustion of petroleum-based fuels. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides sulfur oxides and particulates, are other specific emissions of concern. A key environmental benefit of using biofuels as an additive to petroleum-based transportation fuels is a reduction in these harmful emissions.

For Biofuel in car use click here.
For more information on how biofuels are used in vehicles on the road today, check out the Alternative Fuels Data Center.
For more information about bioenergy in general, link to Biomass Energy Basics.
DSM nv and POET, LLC (Biomass plants on large scale) news articles in Dutch and English.
Recent news articles. "Wood" and "Where biomass fits"



Biodiesel is a mixture of fatty acid alkyl esters made from vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled greases.
Biodiesel can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is usually used as a petroleum diesel additive to reduce levels of particulates, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and air toxics from diesel-powered vehicles.


Bioethanol is an alcohol made by fermenting the sugar components of biomass.
Ethanol is produced by fermentation through a method similar to beer brewing of any biomass containing carbohydrates. At the present time, ethanol is derived from starches and sugars however there have been constant research to allow it to be produced from fibrous substance which consists the bulk of most plant matter-the cellulose and hemicellulose. Ethanol is widely used as a blending agent with gasoline to boost octane and at the same time reducing carbon monoxide and other toxic smog-causing emissions.