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Chapter 3

Fuels from Biomass – Overview

The dramatic increase in the price of petroleum, the finite nature of fossil fuels, increasing concerns regarding environmental impact, especially related to greenhouse gas emissions, and health and safety considerations are forcing the search for new energy sources and alternative ways to power the world's motor vehicles. The global transportation sector accounts for about 60% of total oil consumption and 23% of total carbon dioxide emissions. Biofuels are one possible replacement for fossil fuels and can make a significant contribution in reducing the dependency on fossil fuel imports, especially in the transport sector. Another advantage of biofuels is their contribution to climate protection: as biofuels are usually considered to be carbon dioxide neutral, their use helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Biofuels are liquid or gaseous fuels made from plant matter and residues, such as agricultural crops, municipal wastes and agricultural and forestry by-products. The term biofuels can refer to fuels for direct combustion for electricity production, but is generally used for liquid fuels in transportation sector. Worldwide interest reflect convergence of developed and developing country perspectives on the role biofuels can play in energy for sustainable development.

Print publication date: 18 Jul 2011
Copyright year: 2011
Print ISBN: 978-1-84973-026-6
PDF eISBN: 978-1-84973-102-7
From the book series:
RSC Energy Series