GC: n

CT: Microorganisms have the ability to produce electrochemically active substances that may be metabolic intermediaries or final products of anaerobic respiration. For the purpose of energy generation, these fuel-substances can be produced in one place and transported to a biofuel cell to be used as fuel. In this case, the biocatalytic microbial reactor produces biofuel and the biological part of the device is not directly integrated with the electrochemical part. This scheme allows the electrochemical part to operate under conditions that are not compatible with the biological part of the device.

S: EB – (last access: 25 November 2014).

N: 1. bio (prefix): word-forming element, from Greek bio-, comb. form of bios “one’s life, course or way of living, lifetime” (as opposed to zoe “animal life, organic life”), from PIE root *gweie– “to live”. The correct usage is that in biography, but in modern science it has been extended to mean “organic life.”
fuel (n): early 14c., from Old French foaile “bundle of firewood,” from Vulgar Latin legal term *focalia “right to demand material for making fire,” neuter plural of Latin focalis “pertaining to a hearth,” from focus “hearth”. Figurative use from 1570s.
2. A biofuel is a hydrocarbon that is made by or from a living organism that we humans can use to power something. This definition of a biofuel is rather formal. For practical purposes, any hydrocarbon fuel that is produced from organic matter (living or once living material) in a short period of time (days, weeks, or even months) is considered a biofuel. This contrasts with fossil fuels, which take millions of years to form and with other types of fuel which are not based on hydrocarbons (nuclear fission, for instance).
3. What makes biofuels tricky to understand is that they need not be made by a living organism, though they can be. Biofuels can also be made through chemical reactions, carried out in a laboratory or industrial setting, that use organic matter (called biomass) to make fuel. The only real requirements for a biofuel are that the starting material must be CO2 that was fixed (turned into another molecule) by a living organism and the final fuel product must be produced quickly and not over millions of years.
4. There are several methods for the production of biofuel in the form of ethanol, butanol, hydrogen, methanol and materials such as diesel.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 25 November 2014). 2 & 3. BIOFUEL – (last access: 25th November 2014). 4. EB – (last access: 25th November 2014).


CR: biodiesel , bioetanol, biomass, biomass energy, biomass fuel, e-fuel, hydrogen refuelling station.