What is a Biofuel?
A biofuel is a mixture of organic substances that is used as fuel in internal combustion engines. Derived from biomass, organic matter originated in a biological process, spontaneous or provoked, usable as a source of energy.
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For many authors, the correct thing to refer to this type of fuel is to talk about agrofuels, the prefix "bio-" is used throughout the EU to refer to agricultural products whose production does not involve synthesis products. The word biofuel, therefore, is prone to confusion and endows with positive connotations that it lacks.
For the production of biofuels, agricultural use species such as corn or cassava, rich in carbohydrates, or oleaginous plants such as soy, sunflower and palm trees can be used. Forest species such as eucalyptus and pine trees can also be used. By using these materials, carbon dioxide that is sent to the Earth's atmosphere is considerably reduced as these materials absorb it as they develop, while emitting a quantity Similar to conventional fuels at the time of combustion. In Europe, Argentina and the United States, diverse regulations have emerged that require suppliers to mix biofuels up to a certain level. Generally biofuels are mixed with other fuels in amounts ranging from 5 to 10%.
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The most used and developed biofuels are bioethanol and biodiesel.
Bioethanol, also called biomass ethanol, by alcoholic fermentation of sugars from various plants such as sugar cane, beets or cereals. In 2006, the United States was the main producer of bioethanol (36% of world production), Brazil represents 33.3%, China 7.5%, India 3.7%, France 1.9% and Germany 1.5%. Total production in 2006 reached 55 billion liters.2
Biodiesel is manufactured from vegetable oils, which can be used or unused.3 In the latter case, rape, canola, soybean or jatropha are usually used, which are cultivated for this purpose. The main producer of biodiesel in the world is Germany, which accounts for 63% of production. It is followed by France with 17%, the United States with 10%, Italy with 7% and Austria with 3%.
Other alternatives, such as biopropanol or biobutanol, are less popular, but research in these areas does not lose importance due to the high price of fossil fuels and their eventual depletion.
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DIRECTIVE 2009/28 / EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT concerning the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources establishes criteria for the use of biofuels within the EU and the potential application to financial assistance programs. This Directive opened an opportunity for the Argentine Republic to supply this market. But on the other hand, also the same Directive, in Article 17, raises the sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids, "regardless of whether the raw materials have been grown inside or outside the territory of the Community." This poses a great challenge to analyze and demonstrate the sustainability of the production systems of biofuels for export to the EU.
In Spain there was a special tax rate for biofuels of zero euros per 1000 L, although since 2012, their taxation has been compared, although not completely, to that of traditional fuels. The special type will be applied exclusively to the volume of biofuel, even when it is used mixed with other products. Biofuels and biodiesel, when used as fuels, and bioethanol are considered as biofuels. Biofuels, biomethanol and biodiesel are considered biofuels. when they are used as fuels. The IFAPA has admired that Spain is a great producer of bioethanol and very consumer.