How Does Biofuel Work? Turning Organic Waste Into Energy

Biogas is a renewable energy source from organic waste such as manure, food waste, and green waste. When organic waste decomposes, it produces methane gas or ‘biogas.’ This biogas can be captured from decomposing materials and used as a renewable energy source.

A biofuel digester is a storage tank where bacteria break down organic materials to release their stored energy as natural gas (methane). Renewable energy consultants use these digesters can process any organic material — even human excrement!

How Does Biofuel Work?

Biofuels are liquid or gaseous fuels created from biomass that you can substitute for fossil fuels. This biomass can be organic matter such as plants or animal waste. The main difference between biofuels and traditional fuels is that biofuels are made from renewable energy sources rather than finite sources of fossil fuels.

Biofuels are primarily created by converting biomass into bio-oil. You can convert this oil into gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel. It’s broken down into its chemical components through hydrolysis. This process converts the biomass into sugars that are then fermented into bio-oils. The bio-oils can then be converted into biofuels by several different methods.


Transesterification is a chemical process that changes the chemical structure of biodiesel. This allows it to be used in more applications without needing modification. The critical difference between biodiesel and Transesterified biodiesel is that transesterification utilizes alcohol to break down the triglycerides. This alcohol is typically methanol or ethanol.

This is essential because it allows biodiesel to be used in more applications. Trans-esterified biodiesel has high viscosity (thick liquid), a high boiling, and a low freezing point.

Microbial Processes for Biofuels

Microbial processes are a vital component in the production of biofuels. Microorganisms can be used to convert biomass into a variety of fuels, including ethanol, biodiesel, and methane. These processes offer a sustainable and renewable option for producing transportation fuels, and they can be tailored to specific feedstocks and end products. Methane can also be produced through microbial processes, using hydrogen and carbon dioxide as starting materials.

Uses of Biofuels 


This is the most commonly produced biofuel and can be used as a gasoline additive or a standalone fuel.


This is another popular option, and it can be used in diesel engines with little or no modification. Similarly, it can help to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and therefore help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


It is typically used as a gas but can also be used in fuel cells to generate electricity. This can, in turn, improve air quality by reducing emissions of harmful pollutants.

Generating Advanced Biofuels

Several routes can create biofuels from organic matter: fermentation or anaerobic digestion. Organic matter fermentation can occur under controlled conditions in large vessels or tanks, resulting in bioethanol.

Anaerobic digestion, on the other hand, is the process of breaking down biodegradable materials in the absence of oxygen. When this process is done using organic waste, it results in methane, which can be used as a fuel source.

Why You Need a Renewable Energy Consultant

The production of biofuels, however, can be complicated and expensive. A renewable energy consultant can provide advice on all aspects of creating biofuels, including:

Site assessment

This includes analyzing the topography of a location to determine if it is suitable for installing a biofuel facility.

Business plan

A consultant can help you create an effective business plan that outlines the financial aspects of your proposed facility.

Sourcing feedstock

Finding suppliers of organic materials used in the production of biofuels is essential.

Similarly, talking to a consultant will help you with customized system integration. The final products of biofuels can be sold commercially or sorted to stabilize intermediate used in refineries.

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