Difference Between Biofuel and Biomass

Main Difference

The main difference between biofuel and biomass is that biofuel is the extracted energy from biomass, whereas biomass is anything active and was alive a short time ago.

Biofuel vs. Biomass

Biofuel is the extracted energy from biomass, whereas biomass is anything active and was alive a short time ago. Biofuel produces through current biological processes, whereas biomass is the formation through the burning of plants, via consumption of food through animals followed by digestion and by excretion process or by consumption of matter through microorganisms. Biofuel is the energy take out from biomass, while biomass is the organic matter that can be used as a fuel in power stations. The main use of biofuel is the energy source with less greenhouse emission; on the other hand, biomass is mainly used in cooking, heating homes and buildings, for electricity sources, etc. Biofuel generally refers to a synthetic diesel, alcohols, and combustible liquids distinguished from oils or carbohydrates in plants or algae; on the contrary, biomass generally refers to the abstraction of methane and similar combustible gases from decomposing biological matter such as food waste, sewage, leaves, wood, etc. Solid biofuel is used to produce combined heat and power systems and to generate electricity, and liquid biofuel is used to replace fossil fuels of petrol and diesel; conversely, biomass like wood and waste produces from wood are burned to produce heat and electricity in industries.

Comparison Chart

BiofuelBiomass
Biofuel produces through current biological processes.Biomass is anything active and was alive a short time ago.
Nature
Organic matter that is used as a fuelThe extracted energy from biomass
Uses
The energy source with less greenhouse emissionIn cooking, heating homes and buildings, for electricity sources, etc
Formation
Biofuel produces through current biological processesThrough burning of plants, via consumption of food through animals followed by digestion and by excretion process or by consumption of matter through microorganisms
Resources
Renewable resourcesRenewable resources
Energy Production
It provides a low amount of energy per unit biomassIt provides a high amount of energy per unit mass
Environmental Pollution
It causes less pollution than biomass or fossil fuelPlays a role in pollution but act as a carbon-neutral energy source
Emission
Emits a lower percentage of unfavorable gases when burntEmits carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases

What is Biofuel?

Biofuel is the extracted energy from biomass or living matter. The production of biofuel takes a short period. Biofuel is mainly produced through biological processes, and its final products are solid, liquid, or gas. One major importance of biofuel is that is a renewable energy source, and these are made from renewable resources. So this confirms that biofuel is the renewable fuel. Though, burning of biofuel contributes to major air pollution due to the formation of carbon monoxide, carbon particles, and other unfavorable gases. Advantages of biofuel include renewability, lower emissions, biodegradability, and safety. Biofuel can easily be attained from organic matter.

Types

  • Bioethanol: It is the fuel obtained from biological processes with the help of microorganisms and different enzymes. The final product is a flammable liquid. The sources which are used for production are wheat and sugar cane, and then the sugar from these sources are fermented to obtain ethanol. Then distillation is done to separate bioethanol from other components. This bioethanol is then used as an additive along with gasoline to lower the carbon monoxide emission.
  • Biodiesel: This biofuel is produced using vegetable oil and fat in a process called transesterification. Its major resources are soybeans, rapeseed, etc. It is one of the best additives used in fuel mixtures to reduce unfavorable gas emissions by 60%.

What is Biomass?

Biomass is anything active and was alive a short time ago. It also means trees, crops, plant waste, animal waste, and their dead matter comes under biomass. Biomass is the formation through the burning of plants, via consumption of food through animals followed by digestion and by excretion process or by consumption of matter through microorganisms. It is the organic matter that can be used as fuel mainly in power stations and in the generation of electricity. Biomass is the major energy source which had habits even before human civilization. Its main uses include wood which we use as the earliest energy source to get heat. Biomass gets its energy from the sunlight. It is done when plants photosynthesize, and they convert the energy of sunlight into organic food. Consequently, biomass depends on hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Biomass, in short, produces energy which all plants and animals need. Its main advantage is that it’s a renewable energy resource.

Key Differences

  1. Biofuel is the extracted energy from biomass, whereas biomass is anything active and was alive a short time ago.
  2. Biofuel produces through current biological processes, whereas biomass is the formation through the burning of plants, via consumption of food through animals followed by digestion and by excretion process or by consumption of matter through microorganisms.
  3. Biofuel is the energy take out from biomass, while biomass is the organic matter that can be used as a fuel in power stations.
  4. The main use of biofuel is the energy source with less greenhouse emission; on the other hand, biomass is mainly used in cooking, heating homes, and buildings, for electricity sources, etc.
  5. Biofuel generally refers to a synthetic diesel, alcohols, and combustible liquids distinguished from oils or carbohydrates in plants or algae; on the contrary, biomass generally refers to the abstraction of methane and similar combustible gases from decomposing biological matter such as food waste, sewage, leaves, wood, etc.
  6. Solid biofuel is used to produce combined heat and power systems and to generate electricity, and liquid biofuel is used to replace fossil fuels of petrol and diesel; conversely, biomass like wood and waste produces from wood are burned to produce heat and electricity in industries.

Conclusion

Above discussion concludes that biofuel is the extracted energy from biomass, whereas biomass is anything active and was alive a short time ago.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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