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Biofuels for transportation markets

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In the past decade, an increase in ethanol production capacity in the US and Brazil, and biodiesel in Europe, has resulted in biofuels gaining a foothold in the global market for liquid fuels. According to a recent report by Navigant Research, the biofuels industry is now on the verge of entering a new phase of development focused on advanced and drop in biofuels.

Over the next eight years, biofuels are expected to become an important part of the fuel mix for road transportation, accounting for 7.5% of liquid fuels consumed in the sector by 2022.

Many governments, corporations, and individuals see biofuels as a promising solution to solving the energy security, environmental and economic challenges associated with petroleum dependency.

Conventional biofuels, ethanol and biodiesel, are the most near term solutions for displacing petroleum based fuel consumption in the road transportation sector.

Navigant Research predicts that global biofuels consumption in the road transportation sector will grow from more than 32.4 billion gal./y in 2013 to more than 51.1 gal./y in 2022. Worldwide revenue from biofuels for road transportation will grow from US$ 166.5 billion annually in 2014 to US$ 337.8 billion by 2022.

Governments and industries are looking at ways to replace the whole barrel of oil by developing biofuels for all forms of transportation: road, aviation, and maritime.

According to the report, commercial scale production of cellulosic feedstock biofuels is just getting started, and recent developments in drop-in biofuels propelled by the aviation industry and the US Department of Defense are driving down costs, enabling commercial scale production.

Meanwhile, large oil consuming nations concerned about energy security, climate change, and economic stagnation are driving global biofuels markets through a number of policy platforms, primarily biofuels mandates.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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