Biofuels Production from Renewable Feedstocks

Authors Organisations
Type Chapter
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuality Living Through Chemurgy and Green Chemistry
EditorsPeter C. K. Lau
PublisherSpringer Nature
Pages193-220
Edition1st
ISBN (Print)978-3662537022, 3662537028
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameGreen Chemistry and Sustainable Technology
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
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Abstract

Predicted increases in greenhouse gas emissions, depleting fossil fuel supplies, global conflicts, and energy security are major factors driving the search for renewable energy supplies. Based on future energy demand projections, biofuels production is expected to increase. However, this increase represents a small fraction of this growing demand because the land area required to grow sufficient biofuels crops is unavailable. Hence, fulfilling the growing energy demand after attaining peak fossil fuel production will include using a combination of energy sources such as renewables, wind, geothermal, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, and coal. Current and potential feedstocks include grains, grasses, root crops, oil seeds, algae, and lignocellulosics. Grains, sugar crops, and lignocellulosics are the main feedstocks used in full-scale first- and second-generation ethanol processes. While first-generation biodiesel is produced mainly from corn, soybeans, canola oil, rapeseed, palm oil, Jatropha, and coconut oil, second-generation fuels are produced from lignocellulosics. Third-generation technology employs several processes to produce a variety of biofuels from algae while fourth-generation technologies, a developing concept, is intended to employ genetically modified terrestrial or aquatic plants. In another concept, fourth-generation technologies can be configured with CO2 sequestration and storage. First-generation biobutanol is produced from corn or molasses and from sugar beet as well as sugarcane, while second-generation production processes utilize lignocellulosics such as corn stover, rice straw, corn fiber, switchgrass, alfalfa, reed canary grass, sugarcane bagasse, Miscanthus, waste paper, dry distillers grain with solubles (DDGS), and soy molasses. A variety of technologies, based on the enzyme systems, are currently under investigation for producing biohydrogen. Biohydrogen production routes are divided into biophotolysis (direct/indirect), dark fermentation, and photofermentation. Increasing global demand is expected to drive increasing bioethanol and biobutanol production using food and nonfood feedstocks. At the same time, researchers are developing technologies to produce biohydrogen and biodiesel. Biohydrogen and biodiesel production technologies are in their developmental stages; however, with innovation, these technologies are expected to mature into economical processes.

Keywords

  • global energy supply and demand, annual biofuel feedstock production, biofuels production processes - first, first, second, third and fourth-generation processes