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Glossary

Biofuels Wiki, hosted and maintained by the Biofuels Center of North Carolina, is a one-stop, collaborative, open-source, industry-led site where knowledge about liquid renewable biofuels can be found.  Think of it as a biofuels encyclopedia on the internet.

BioenergyWiki, developed by a consortium of organizations, strives to serve as an open and balanced electronic forum to promote the utilization of bioenergy in a sustainable manner.

Diesel Technology Forum has a page with a lengthy, detailed explanation of the difference between biodiesel and renewable diesel and touching on related topics.

See also the National Biodiesel Board’s general and technical definitions of biodiesel and Changes in Diesel Fuel: The Service Technician’s Guide to Compression Ignition Fuel Quality for a detailed discussion of the various standards, specifications and grades of diesel fuels.

Red Birch Energy also has a biodiesel facts page with information about use of biodiesel in Virginia.

The Green Chemistry Institute lists terms commonly used in green chemistry and green engineering publications and resources.

California Agriculture’s biofuels issue includes a glossary of terms related to sustainability at the end of the introductory editorial.

Definitions of “biomass” in US legislation at the end of 2009 by Mark Riedy at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo.

Biomass recalcitrance

Syngas

Alkanes

Renewable Fuel Standard

In “RFS2”  EPA’s regulations implementing the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and more recent amendments,   Advanced biofuel means renewable fuel, other than ethanol derived from cornstarch, has lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions that are at least 50 percent less than baseline lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.

Definition of Advanced Biofuels in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007  TITLE II-Subtitle A-Renewable Fuel Standard  SEC. 201.

(i) IN GENERAL.-The term ‘advanced biofuel’ means renewable fuel, other than ethanol derived from corn starch, that has lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, as determined by the Administrator, after notice and opportunity for comment, that are at least 50 percent less than baseline lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.

(ii) INCLUSIONS.-The types of fuels eligible for consideration as ‘advanced biofuel’ may include any of the following:

(I) Ethanol derived from cellulose, hemicellulose, or lignin.

(II) Ethanol derived from sugar or starch (other than corn starch).

(III) Ethanol derived from waste material, including crop residue, other vegetative waste material, animal waste, and food waste and yard waste.

(IV) Biomass-based diesel.

(V) Biogas (including landfill gas and sewage waste treatment gas) produced through the conversion of organic matter from renewable biomass.

(VI) Butanol or other alcohols produced through the conversion of organic matter from renewable biomass.

(VII) Other fuel derived from cellulosic biomass.

 The production of biomass into biofuels has been defined by U.S. Department of Energy and others as consisting of three steps:

  • 1) Pretreatment: Physical and/or chemical treatments to make the biomass (cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectin and lignin) accessible to enzymatic hydrolysis.
  • 2) Saccharification: Converting the component parts into sugars that can be processed into fuels.
  • 3) Chemical Conversion: processing the sugars into fuels. Fermentation produces alcohols (ethanol) or commercially useful acids. Chemical conversions such as aqueous reforming produce the building blocks of fuel hydrocarbons such as alkanes.