There are 3 types of biofuels, depending on the state of aggregation and the nature of the substance: solid, liquid and gaseous. Solid biofuels are represented by traditional firewood (most often in the form of wood processing waste), as well as fuel pellets from various types of biomass. Liquid fuels are alcohols (methanol, ethanol, butanol), ethers, biodiesel and biomass oil. Gaseous – gas mixtures with carbon monoxide, methane, hydrogen obtained by thermal decomposition of raw materials in the presence of oxygen (gasification), without oxygen (pyrolysis) or by fermentation under the influence of bacteria.
Another type of classification is its classification by biofuel generations:
1. The first generation of biofuels is a raw material of plant origin, containing fats, starch, and sugars. Fats and oils are processed into biodiesel, while starches and sugars are converted into alcohols. Technologies for obtaining products from such raw materials have been known for a long time and are used everywhere. The main disadvantage and reason for avoiding first-generation bio-raw materials is competition for the cultivated areas that can be used for growing food products, as well as the processing of these products into fuel, not food. Since the urgency of the problem of world hunger tends to grow over time.
2. The second generation of raw materials is called inedible plant residues, grass, wood, food and woodworking industry waste. This raw material contains cellulose and lignin, which make it possible to obtain synthesis gas when subjected to thermochemical processes of combustion, gasification and pyrolysis. Synthesis gas is a product in the case of combustion to generate electricity, heat and steam, or a raw material for further processing into alcohols and motor fuels.
3. The third generation of raw materials is algae, which secrete oils during the growth process. The collected raw materials are processed into the final product. This type of biofuel does not require land resources, it can have a high concentration of biomass and a high reproduction rate.
4. Fourth generation biofuels are fast-growing photosynthetic microorganisms that are capable of producing liquid fuels directly from carbon dioxide. While this technology is under development.
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