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What are biofuels? Definitions!

We are used to hearing a lot in the media about “biofuels” but there seems to be a lot of confusion as to what they are actually are. So, here at Find A Fuel Supplier Central – we have been looking through various very interesting EU policy documents. In fact, examination of Directive 2003/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 May 2003 on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport gives us a wonderful set of definitions. So, for your reading pleasure – here they are:

1. bioethanol: produced by the fermentation of plants rich in sugar/starch;
2. biodiesel: a diesel-quality fuel produced from biomass or used frying oils and used as biofuel;
3. ETBE: etherised bioethanol; [FAFS - commonly used as a petrol extender in Spain and France]
4. biogas: a fuel gas produced by the fermentation of organic matter by bacterial populations in the absence of oxygen;
5. biomethanol: methanol produced from biomass;
6. bio-oil: an oil fuel produced by pyrolysis (molecular decomposition of biomass through the application of heat and in the absence of air).

EU policy changes to hit Biodiesel production


Connie Hedegaard, the EU Climate Commissioner, has dealt a blow to the European biodiesel industry by introducing policy changes that will limit the production of food-based biofuels to 5%.

The EU has a target of delivering 10% of its transport fuels in a renewable form and while biofuel was regarded as the ideal solution, question were raised about the levels of carbon emissions its production created. Fears of escalating food prices were also raised by green campaigners and these appear to have struck a chord with Hedegaard.

Talking to the Guardian, Hedegaard said: “We cannot morally afford to build a very big industry on something that is not good for the environment or for food prices. One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is ensuring affordable food prices.”

The biofuel cap will be regarded as a serious setback for the €10b industry, with companies claiming thousands of jobs will be lost.

Derived from vegetable oil or animal fat, biodiesel is regarded as an important fuel in the industry because it’s renewable and creates fewer emissions than standard diesel. However this announcement is likely to cause a rise in biodiesel prices throughout Europe including the UK.

Therefore comparing biodiesel suppliers to find the cheapest price is going to become a more established practice. Using a website like Findafuelsupplier.co.uk to source the cheapest price of biodiesel and other fuels is therefore recommended in order to save money.