Technically speaking, biofuel comprises liquid, gas, and solid fuels made from organic material – also called biomass. These may be fuel wood burned for cooking or heating as well processed fuels derived through chemical or thermal processes. In contrast to fossil fuels, biofuels offers the benefit of being renewable and, therefore, not reliant on finite energy sources.
In specific, biofuels comprise vehicle fuels such as bioethanol or biodiesel, plant oils, biogas, biomethanol, biohydrogen and others. Whilst the production processes differ widely, ranging from fermentation to steam reforming, the raw materials primarily stem from agriculture.
Corn, soy, jatropha, rapeseed, sugar beet or weed are all crops used for the production of biofuels, for example by using their vegetable oil. Cellulose – one of the most commonly used biofuel materials – is found in the cell walls of plants and trees.
Integrating biofuel crops in Regenerative Agroforestry systems can generate additional income, whilst biomass intensive plants and trees may be pruned and used for soil regeneration. They may also foster climate resilience, increase biodiversity and benefit the farming system as a whole.