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Six Important Biofuel Crops for Fuel Production

Biofuel crops may be nature's way of freeing us from our need on fossil fuels.

Chintu Das
Corn Farming
Corn Farming

Biofuels and biofuel crops have long been used as a fossil fuel replacement. Biofuel is a low-carbon fuel that is made from biomass rather than the extremely slow geological processes that generate fossil fuels. Biofuel demand is predicted to increase in the next several years, possibly allowing us to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

Biofuels, often known as energy crops, include wheat, corn, soybeans, and sugarcane, but they may also be generated from waste materials. Biofuels burn cleaner than fossil fuels, releasing less pollutants and greenhouse gases into the environment, such as carbon dioxide.

After all of that, let's look at a few of the most essential biofuel crops. This is not a complete list, and it is presented in no particular order.


Corn is often regarded as the king of biofuels based on ethanol. In a similar way as beer brewing, sugar-rich corn is converted to ethanol. The kernels are crushed up and combined with yeast and warm water. The combination is fermented by the yeast, which produces ethanol. After that, the ethanol is combined with gasoline and used in current automobile engines. It's really cool!

This blend emits less carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulphur than regular gasoline, which helps to minimise pollution in cities. Because the main body of the plant includes cellulose, which is more difficult and expensive to break down, only the kernels are used.


For centuries, rapeseed oil has been used to cook meals and light lamps. It is now a significant biodiesel source. Canola is the most significant form because it has less erucic acid than other rapeseeds, making it better for animals and people to ingest.

Canola is naturally low in saturated fats, which offers it a distinct edge over its competitors in colder climates. Rapeseeds also have a high oil content compared to most plants, making them ideal crops for fuel production.


Sugarcane, like corn, is used to make bioethanol. Brazil has poured billions of dollars on this industry, to the point that it now costs less than gasoline. Surprisingly, most automobiles in Brazil were ethanol-powered in the 1980s, but today most use flexible fuel engines. Sugarcane ethanol is six times less expensive than corn ethanol. Farmers, on the other hand, burn their fields during sugarcane harvesting, releasing large volumes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and offsetting some of the carbon advantages of bioethanol consumption.

Palm oil

Palm oil is a biodiesel fuel made from the fruit of palm trees and is one of the most energy-efficient on the market. It is also unnecessary to adapt diesel engines to run on palm oil.

Biodiesel made from palm oil is also less polluting than gasoline. Palm oil has aided the development of Malaysia's and Indonesia's economy in particular. However, in these nations, the cultivation of palm trees for biodiesel has resulted in the daily burning of thousands of acres of rainforest to make room for the crops. This devastation jeopardises the fragile ecology and puts thousands of plant and animal species in jeopardy.


This obnoxious, deadly plant is a major biofuel player. The bushes grow rapidly, don't require much water, and their seeds contain roughly 40% oil.

India is the world's largest producer of Jatropha, and its biodiesel industry is based on this crop. This has helped the government to aid rural farmers by allowing them to cultivate this crop on ground that is too poor for other crops. Jatropha plants may survive for 50 years and thrive in drought-stricken and pest-infested areas.

The plant's seeds are crushed to extract the oil, which is then used to make biodiesel. The seed casings and vegetative detritus, on the other hand, are not thrown away. They may also be used as biomass fuel, which is convenient!


Soybeans may be utilised as a fuel source as well as for tofu, sauce, crayons, and shampoos. Soybeans are used to make the majority of biodiesel in the United States. Pure soybean biodiesel or a combination of soy biodiesel and regular diesel fuels may power cars, heavy equipment, and even buses. Soybean diesel produces more energy than maize ethanol, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

Biodiesel may be made from one bushel of soybeans, yielding 5.68 litres (about 1.5 gallons). However, whereas soybeans contain roughly 20% oil, other fuels, such as Canola and sunflower seeds, have twice as much, at 40% and 43%, respectively.

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