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What are Biofuels?

July 14, 2016

Biofuels are fuels made from renewable sources such as ethanol from corn or biodiesel from used fats and oils. These fuels produce fewer carbon emissions like conventional petroleum from fossil fuels. Though biofuels come from a variety of different sources, these fuels are generally developed through chemical reactions, fermentation, and heat to break down the sugars and starches in the plant matter, the remains are then refined into biofuel.

The use of biofuels in motor vehicles isn’t a new one. In the early twentieth century, Henry Ford had intended on his Model Ts to run on ethanol, not to mention diesel engines had proven to be capable of running on peanut oil! This opportunity was lost due to large oil deposits, making gasoline and diesel petroleum cheaper. However, due to the growing concerns over carbon dioxide emissions and with oil prices on the rise, energy producers have begun to relook at these alternatives.

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Other Sources

Government of Ontario. “Ontario's Bio Advantage Sector Profile.” Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Foods and Rural Affairs. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/research/ktt/spot-bioenergy.htm. Accessed July 12, 2016.

National Geographic Society. “Biofuels.” National Geographic. http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/biofuel-profile/. Accessed July 12, 2016.