A Greener Future: Driving Sustainable Biofuel Demand

  • Published | 11 March 2024

Biofuels are renewable fuels obtained from living organisms or their waste products. They are available in various forms such as solid (biomass pellets), liquid (biodiesel, ethanol) and oil (biogas) and can be used as a clean alternative to traditional fossil fuels. HVO fuel is synthetic paraffin diesel, sometimes called green diesel. Biofuel is a type of fuel produced from biomass and is an alternative to gasoline and natural gas. Biofuels also have many other forms and uses, such as aviation biofuels and combined heat and power (CHP) biofuels.

Biofuels are renewable fuels obtained from living things or their closest waste products. They exist in a variety of forms such as solid (biomass pellets), liquid (biodiesel, ethanol) and oil (biogas) and can be used as a clean alternative to traditional fossil fuels for transportation, energy production and even heat.

How are Biofuels different than Normal Fuels (Fossil Fuels)


Normal Fuels (Fossil Fuels)



Fossil deposits of decomposed organic matter (millions of years old)

Renewable organic materials (plants, algae, animal waste)


Finite resource, not replenishable on a human timescale

Renewable, can be replenished through growth or waste production


Higher greenhouse gas emissions (CO2)

Generally lower greenhouse gas emissions, but production process can impact environment


Often cheaper due to established infrastructure and economies of scale

More volatile pricing due to feedstock costs and production processes

Energy Output

High energy density (more energy per unit volume)

Lower energy density than some fossil fuels


Powers vehicles, generates electricity, heats buildings

Can be used in many of the same applications as normal fuels, may require modifications

Supply Chain

Well-established global supply chains

Supply chains are still developing in some regions

Government Regulations

Regulations may vary depending on region

Some regions offer subsidies or tax breaks for biofuel production or use

Types of Biofuels

  • HVO Oil

HVO (Hyrotreated Vegetable Oil) oil is a synthetic paraffinic diesel oil, sometimes called green diesel. The beauty of HVO oil is that there is a reduction in gasoline changes recommended by many OEMs without the need for modifications to the engine. It also has a longer shelf life than modern diesel and natural gas because during HVO production, all impurities are removed during the hydrotreating process, extending the storage life to up to 10 years compared to 1 year for diesel fuel. This fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%. Additionally, since HVO fuel does not contain FAME, FAME is not subject to contamination like biodiesel. HVO is still watery and can be filtered at -32 degrees Celsius, making it perfect for winter.

  • Biodiesel

Biodiesel - also known as fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), is a diesel replacement biofuel made from a so-called transesterification reaction of plant or animal origin. It can also be mixed with diesel fuel.

  • CHP Biofuels

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) biofuels are a renewable alternative to fossil fuels and can be used to produce heat and electricity. It originates mainly from oil facilities, waste oils, animal materials and other products from equipment.

Applications of Biofuel

  • Aviation Biofuels - Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

Biofuels, often called Sustainable Aviation Biofuels (SAF), are widely used. widespread. The main option is a mixture of kerosene and biodiesel. Currently, only paraffin kerosene (HEFA-SPK) synthesized with hydrogenated esters and fatty acid is technically mature enough for commercial use. Therefore, HEFA-SPK should be the first aviation biofuel to be used in the future.

SAF is designed to be a CO2-reduced replacement jet fuel and can be blended into a single sample. SAF is produced from bio-derived, non-fossil fuel feedstocks.

  • Heating Oil Biofuels

In the UK domestic market, heating oil means kerosene (unlike other parts of the world where oil is the default domestic heating fuel). Currently, no biofuel can be used to replace heating oil in the home - there is no biofuel, as it is already preparing to replace heating oil - but this does not mean that there is no progress, because research is already looking at the potential of heating oil.

  • Transportation:

Biodiesel: A popular biofuel obtained from vegetable or animal oils, biodiesel can be used in existing diesel engines with fewer modifications. It supports buses, trucks and even some boats.

Bioethanol: An alcohol-based fuel usually made from corn or sugar, it can be mixed with gasoline in motor vehicles. One example is E85, which is a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

Biogas: Biogas is produced by the decomposition of organic waste and can be converted into biomethane, a gaseous fuel suitable for powering vehicles such as compressed natural gas (CNG) buses.

  • Energy Production:

Biomass Energy: Wood sawdust, pellets or other organic materials can be burned in a power plant to produce electricity. Although it is not the cleanest biofuel option due to emissions issues, it offers a sustainable alternative to traditional power plants.

Biogas power plants: Methane produced by biogas can be used directly in turbines to generate electricity, creating a closed loop using biogas

  • Heating and cooking:

Biodiesel and ethanol: Biodiesel and ethanol, home heating systems and boilers, conventional It is an extension of heating oil.

Biogas: The methane component of biogas can be used for domestic and commercial cooking purposes, especially in regions where natural gas is not available.

  • Other uses:

Industrial processes: Some biofuels can be used as feedstocks in industrial processes and can partially replace fossil fuels in manufacturing. Although they are still in the development stage, they hold the promise of reducing the business environment.

Advantages of biofuel

  • Carbon-neutral / lower emissions

  • Produced from renewable sources

  • Sources of biofuel are already farmed (corn, soy among others)

  • Blending with fossil fuels allows you to reduce carbon footprint without large scale infrastructural changes

  • Biofuel technology is improving every year

Biofuels on the Road: Powering Vehicles and Beyond

In the EU, road transport biofuels account for 4.7 % (13,985 ktoe) of final energy consumption, divided into biodiesel (10,644 ktoe), biogasoline (2,892 ktoe) and other liquid biofuels (422 ktoe) (EC 2013). Biofuels are largely compatible with today’s engines and vehicles and can be blended with current fossil fuels to a certain extent.

Powering Vehicles and Beyond

Figure: Coverage of transport modes and travel range by the main alternative fuels (2019)

Biofuel demand growth by fuel and region

Figure: Biofuel demand growth by fuel and region, 2022 (IEA)

Planning for additional capacity in Europe and the United States could meet most of the new demands with additional equipment from Singapore. Biojet fuel production relies mainly on the availability of waste oil and fats (52%) and vegetable oil (36%). The rest is obtained from ethanol, woody residues and waste. The European Commission may limit the amount of food that can be used to produce sustainable fuel oil (SAF), while vegetable oils such as soybean oil will also support SAF production in the United States. In our faster case, demand will rise to 8 100 MLPY (2% of global aviation) if current rules and negotiations lead to faster growth. The total biofuel demand in the emergency situation reaches 240,000 MLPY, an increase of 25% compared to the critical situation. This growth rate assumes that China, Europe, India and the US implement stricter policies to stimulate demand, and that efforts are being made to increase ethanol blending in the US and India. All four countries also need to expand food production, especially waste and residue, to expand recycling, biojet fuel and biodiesel.

Recent Developments

  • In March 2024, Bunge and Chevron reached a definitive agreement to invest in their partnership in their existing Gulf Coast operations in Destrehan, Louisiana. plant

  • In March 2024, Nike recently agreed with CMA CGM to purchase sustainable biofuel as part of its maritime transportation. This measure will make a significant contribution to the decarbonization of Nike's supply chain. As of May 31, Nike will use sustainable biofuels to transport 36% of its shipments in partnership with CMA CGM.

  • In March 2024, Trafigura agreed to acquire Greenergy's European business, Brookfield Investors, from Brookfield Asset Management and its affiliates for an undisclosed amount. Greenergy is a UK-based fuels business and major producer of biodiesel. The acquisition is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

The Future Of Biofuels: A Sustainable Stopgap Or A Stepping Stone?

While biofuels remain the main low-carbon source for ground transportation in many parts of the world, other non-low-carbon solutions are price capped. Hard-to-eliminate industries, such as aviation and shipping, may rely on renewable energy sources such as biofuels for many years to come to reduce the cost of living from the fossil fuels they depend on. Biofuels offer a promising path towards a more energy-efficient future. However, research and development is needed to increase efficiency, reduce environmental impact and reduce costs. While biofuels are not the ultimate clean energy solution, they could be an important stop on the path to a future powered by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Today, the industry produces around 5,000 barrels per day (kbd) * SAF, but global aviation demand is closer to 5.5 million barrels per day ** (and rising as business recovers post-COVID). Other forms of energy, such as hydrogen or electricity, are being developed for aviation but are currently only suitable for a few short flights with a small number of passengers.


In summary, biofuels are renewable fuels obtained from living organisms or their biological wastes, providing a clean alternative to fossil fuels. They are sustainable, have lower emissions, are important low-carbon sources for transport, heat and energy production, and have the potential to play a significant role in reducing future environmental impacts.

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