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What you need to know
Reflections and Exam tips
Bio= Biological = Living
Fuel= Substance that can be burned to get energy
Biofuels come from living things or products from living things.
Why the interest in them then?
Because of the concerns that:
Sugar cane (see image) is a grass with juicy stems that are filled with sugar (sucrose). Sucrose can be convereted to glucocse and glucose can be fermented to produce flammabe ethanol.
Ethanol can be used as a fuel as it:
The equation for the fermentation of sugar:
Glucose + Yeast (anaerobic respiration) —› Ethanol (Alcohol) + Carbon Dioxide
Ethanol is mixed with petrol to run petrol cars. The mixture of 20% Ethanol to 80% Petrol is called Blend. Diffrent countries use different percentages. Leading the trend in this revolution is Brazil, but at what cost?
Diesel is a thick, oily liquid. It is less volatile and not easy to ignite (set alight)
Biodiesel is just modified cooking oil. It can be obtained from plant seeds such as sunflower and oilseed rape
Biogas is methane from decomposing biological material. It is produced through anaerobic respiration of bacteria on dead organic matter in a closed container. The container is closed so as to prevent oxygen coming in, this would reduce methane production as aerobic respiration would occur.
Organic matter (carbohydrates, fats) —› Methane + Carbon dioxide + Sulphur Dioxide
The more methane the better, the less Carbon dioxide and Sulphur Dioxide the better as they reduce the quality and flammability of the Biogas.
This depends on the material that is used. These include:
What are the ethical issues involved in using human faeces to produce biogas for cooking?
What process occurs during fermentation?
What conditions would affect biogas production in your local area?