Biofuels...Domestically Produced and Completely Natural!
Biofuel is an energy source made from living things, or made form the waste that living things produce. The use of biofuels could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions; while burning the fuels produces carbon dioxide, growing the plants or biomass removes carbon diozide from the atmosphere.
Biofuels can come from a variety of sources and can be roughly divided into four categories or "generations:"
- First generation biofuels are made from sugars, starches, oil, and animal fats that are converted into fuel. These fuels include biodiesel, bioalcohols, ethanol, and biogasses, like methane captured from landfill decomposition.
- Second generation biofuels are composed from non-food crops or agricultural waste. For example, from things like switch-grass, willow, or wood chips.
- Third generation biofuels are made from algae or from other quickly growing biomass sources.
- Fourth generation biofuels are made from specially engineered plants or biomass that may have higher energy yields or lower barriers to cellulosic breakdown or are able to be grown on non-agricultural land or bodies of water.
Biodiesel, a popular form of first-generation biofuel, is domestically produced, and can be made from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. It is a clean-burning replacement for petroleum diesel fuel and is nontoxic and biodegradable. Biodiesel can be used in its pure form or blended at any ratio with petroleum diesel to achieve cost efficiency.
Fast Fact: Did you know that Louisiana produces 10% of our nation's biodiesel?