Bioethanol and biodiesel: Alternative liquid fuels for future generations



The global population is expected to increase by approximately 3 billion people by 2050. With this increase in population, industry, transportation the cost of fossil fuels will grow dramatically. New technologies are needed for fuel extraction using feedstocks that do not threaten food security, cause minimal or no loss of natural habitat and soil carbon. At the same time, waste management has to be improved and environmental pollution should be minimized or eliminated. Liquid biofuels such as lignocellulosic-based ethanol from plant biomass and algal-based biodiesel are sustainable, alternative biofuels that could stabilize national security and provide clean energy for future generations. Ideally, the technology should also foster recycling of agricultural feedstocks and improve soil fertility and human health. This article provides updated information on the energy potential and breadth of liquid biofuel biotechnology.