Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which that are made from plants (also known as "biomass"). The term biofuels covers many different types of fuel from crop and waste derived sources including ethanol, biodiesel, biogasoline, and bio-blends (e10 and e85 are examples.) More and more scientists, citizens, and communities are looking at how Biofuels can help solve environmental, economic, and strategic security challenges caused by our current over-dependence on fossil fuels.
Bioethanol is an alcohol made by fermenting the sugar components of plant materials and it is made mostly from sugar and starch crops. With advanced technology being developed, cellulosic biomass, such as trees and grasses, are also used as feedstocks for ethanol production. Ethanol can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is usually used as a gasoline additive to increase octane and improve vehicle emissions. Bioethanol is widely used in the USA and in Brazil. Biodiesel is made from vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled greases. Biodiesel can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is usually used as a diesel additive to reduce levels of particulates, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons from diesel-powered vehicles. Biodiesel is produced from oils or fats using transesterification and is the most common biofuel in Europe. Biofuels provided 1.8% of the world's transport fuel in 2008. Investment into biofuels production capacity exceeded $4 billion worldwide in 2007 and is growing.