Bioenergy is renewable energy produced by decomposition and burning of materials derived from biological sources such as wood, wood waste, straw, manure, municipal organic waste, sugarcane, and many other by-products, as fuel. Bioenergy can be divided into biofuels such as bioethanol, biodiesel and biogas, which are used for cooking, off-grid electricity supply, transportation, and other activities.
Broadly, bioenergy can be segmented into liquid and solid biofuels. Liquid biofuels are high in demand as they can replace petroleum based products. On the other hand, solid biofuels include wood, charcoal and manure which can be burned to generate electricity. According to International Energy Association, by 2050 biofuels can deliver around 27% of global transportation fuel with lower carbon dioxide emissions as compared to fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel.
Global bioenergy market is growing tremendously, primarily driven by growing energy requirements, depleting fossil fuel resources, and rising environmental concerns. After implementation of Kyoto Protocol treaty in 1992 to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, many countries have started promoting bioenergy as an alternative energy source.
Despite many advantages associated with bioenergy, it also faces hurdles in terms of technological assistance, economics, as well as emerging opposition against burning of forest biomass, which leads to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, food security is also a major concern pertaining to utilisation of agriculture products such as sugarcane, corn, and vegetable oils for generation of bioenergy.
Europe and Brazil are mainly using biofuels for production of electricity and transportation. Asia Pacific, primarily India and China, is also flourishing in this sector following Europe and North America. Some of the major companies operating in this sector are Sapphire Energy, Solazyme, Honeywell UOP, and LanzaTech, among others. .
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