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We talk about second generation biofuels, but what and what are they? Are the biofuels products with production techniques that do not involve subtraction of agricultural land for food production or changes in agricultural use. In practice, they solve the underlying problem of biofuels of the first generation that have advantages and disadvantages because, to put it short, they risked filling up the tank by emptying the plate.
According to the definition of the GSE Energy Services Manager, i biofuels they are transport fuels, in liquid or gaseous form, made from biomass. The main biofuels (first generation) are biodiesel, bioethanol and biomethane. For biodiesel you need corn, rapeseed or palm oil. For bioethanol corn or beets, for biomethane purified biogas.
But today there are the second generation biofuels which are produced with other techniques and other raw materials, for example wood and cellulose, the cultivation of algae or the cultivation of miscanthus, a shrub belonging to the grass family that can be grown in residual soils. In some cases these are still experimental techniques, in others the marketing of the products has already been reached.
THE second generation biofuels are numerous and are identified with technical terms and acronyms. The main ones are the synthetic biomass diesel (called FT-liquids), which is produced by processes similar to those used for the production of synthetic fuels from coal, the dimethyl ether, the bio-methanol and mixtures of oxygenated organic compounds called BTL Biomass to liquids.
Second generation biofuel is also the green diesel or hydrodiesel, but also called second generation biodiesel. It is a biofuel obtained from vegetable and animal oils and fats or from rapid pyrolysis processes of wood and cellulose biomass passing through the bio-oil stage.
Other second generation biofuel is theethanol, which is obtained from enzymatic hydrolysis processes of lignocellulosic materials and which has been the subject of research since the 1970s. The production of ethanol from cellulose, which is not new, is considered particularly interesting and is the subject of investments by some important industrial operators.
Finally, there are thebiofuels such as biodiesel from algae made from oil from crops of microalgae. Numerous experimental research activities are underway on these which could lead to interesting market applications.