A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary biological processes, such as agriculture and anaerobic digestion, rather than the fuels by geological processes.
As per National Biofuel Policy it is defined as “‘biofuels’ are liquid or gaseous fuels produced from biomass resources and used in place of, or in addition to, diesel, petrol or other fossil fuels for transport, stationary, portable and other applications”.
Further, ‘biomass’ resources are the biodegradable fraction of products, wastes and residues from agriculture, forestry and related industries as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal wastes.
Biofuels are derived from renewable bio-mass resources and, therefore, provide a strategic advantage to promote sustainable development and to supplement conventional energy sources in meeting the rapidly increasing requirements for transportation fuels associated with high economic growth, as well as in meeting the energy needs of India’s vast rural population.
Biofuels can increasingly satisfy these energy needs in an environmentally benign and cost effective manner while reducing dependence on import of fossil fuels and thereby providing a higher degree of National Energy Security.
‘Bio-ethanol’: ethanol produced from biomass such as sugar containing materials, like sugar cane, sugar beet, sweet sorghum, etc.; starch containing materials such as corn, cassava, algae etc.; and, cellulosic materials such as bagasse, wood waste, agricultural and forestry residues etc.
‘Biodiesel’: a methyl or ethyl ester of fatty acids produced from vegetable oils, both edible and non-edible, or animal fat of diesel quality;
There are international organizations such as IEA Bioenergy, established in 1978 by the OECD International Energy Agency (IEA), with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have national programs in bioenergy research, development and deployment.
The UN International Biofuels Forum is formed by Brazil, China, India, Pakistan, South Africa, the United States and the European Commission.
The world leaders in biofuel development and use are Brazil, the United States, France, Sweden and Germany.