Bio-fuels and Sustainability

How many of us use bio-fuels on a regular basis or even at all? That is a pertinent question as we look at driving sustainability issues overall locally and globally.

Bio-fuels are fuels derived from renewable biological materials such as ethanol from corn kernels, corn stover, perennial grasses, woody biomass, and algae, and diesel from soy beans.

Currently available bio- fuels are made from sugar crops (sugarcane, sugar-beet), starch crops (corn, potatoes), oil-seed crops (soybean, sunflower, rapeseed), and animal fats.

Sugar and starch crops are converted through a fermentation process to form bio-alcohols, including ethanol, butanol, and propanol. Oils and animal fats can be processed into bio-diesel. Ethanol is the most widely used bio-alcohol fuel.

US as a whole has gradually increased the consumption of bio-fuels across board but there is still much more to be done.



Everyone can contribute to sustainability through the use of bio-fuels, which aids the overall sustainability effort and which has the following added benefits:

  • Energy efficiency (Bio-fuels are more energy efficient vs conventional fuels)
  • Health benefits(Less pollutants)
  • Bio-fuels refineries are cleaner(Less pollutants)
  • Fuel economy (More bang for your buck!)
  • Reduction in foreign oil dependence!
  • Economic development
  • Higher energy performance
  • Positive economic impact
  • Reduction in greenhouse gases

So, the question remains…………… How do you contribute to bio-fuel consumption?


2 responses to this post.

  1. If a person is allergic to soy would the fumes be endangering

    Ellen G Siepser


    • Most food allergies are usually based on food consumption, and in this particular case of bio-fuels and bio-diesel extraction from soy, the vital volatile chemicals that causes allergies are essentially stripped down during production and combustion process to produce energy.
      Thus inhalation of bio-diesel fumes which doesn’t smell like soy during combustion does not endanger.


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