Biofuel vs Biodiesel: Difference and Comparison

The difference between biofuel and biodiesel is that biofuels are obtained from the available natural biomass (agricultural, domestic and industrial biowaste), while biodiesel is obtained from vegetable oils and animal fats (palm oil, cashew nut oil, and soybean oil).

Biofuel is obtained from non-living biomass, and it is termed the best source of renewable energy because biomass multiplies itself as it is used up.

It is an environmentally friendly form of energy supplier as it does not emit any forms of carbon compounds that can be a danger to the ozone layer, causing climate change.

Biodiesel is non-toxic and biodegradable to the environment. This means when it is exposed to the environment, it decomposes and forms part of the manure in the soil, thereby encouraging plant growth.


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Biodiesel is a modified form of biofuel, but it can be termed as non-renewable, for it is obtained from vegetable oils (aliphatic acids) and animal fats, which are not self-replicating once they are used up.

Key Takeaways

  1. Biofuels are renewable energy sources derived from organic materials, such as plant or animal waste, and include various types like ethanol and biodiesel.
  2. Biodiesel is a specific biofuel made from vegetable oils, animal fats, or waste cooking oil, used as a cleaner alternative to petroleum diesel.
  3. Both biofuels and biodiesel help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but biodiesel offers better lubricity and lower sulfur content than petroleum diesel.
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Biofuel vs Biodiesel

Biofuel is a kind of fuel made from recyclable things like plants, aquatic plants, and animal waste, made through fermentation or transesterification. Biodiesel is a type of biofuel which is recycled from vegetable oil and animal fats through transesterification, used as an alternative to petrol.  

Comparison Table

Parameter of comparisonBiofuelBiodiesel
Raw materialsNatural biomassVegetal oil and animal fats
UsesIndustriesEngine ignition
Energy productionProduces more energyProduces less energy

What is Biofuel?

Biofuel is a form of energy that is derived from naturally occurring biowaste. This can be agricultural, domestic, and industrial biowaste.

It is made from biowaste because it is faster than other processes, including vegetable oils and animal fats.

It is termed the best source of renewable energy as biomass multiplies itself after it has been used up.

On the other hand, it is environmentally friendly because it has less or no emissions of carbon compounds that may cause climate change and alter plant growth.

Biofuels produce more energy than required because the process involved in the production is fast and convenient.

Biofuels are in a gaseous and liquid state after production thereby making it easy to get rid of the by-products.

Biofuel is therefore made from non-living materials. This is an added advantage to the environment as there will be no hindrance to the growth of plants.

It is an encouraging form of energy production because it doesn’t interfere with the environment but adds value to the soil when they decompose.

What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a form of energy that is derived from living things. It’s made from vegetable oils (cashew nut, palm, and soya bean oil) and animal fats.

It is, therefore, biodegradable. It’s non-renewable to some extent, as vegetable oils and animal fats are not self-replicating once they are used up.

It produces less amount of energy, and therefore it is recommended for combination in ignition engines. The process through which biodiesel is obtained is called transesterification.

Since it is made from vegetable oils and animal fats, it has no negative effects on the environment at large.

Biodiesel is a modified form of biofuel, for it is made from the products of living things (plants and animals). The vegetable oils produce aliphatic acid, which is ideal for biodiesel production.

Just like biofuels, biodiesel has no adverse effects on the environment as they are non-toxic and biodegradable. This means that they decompose once they are released into the environment.

This will therefore reduce soil acidity and encourage plant growth, thereby increasing productivity.


Main Differences Between Biofuel and Biodiesel

  1. Biofuels are derived from naturally occurring biomass (agricultural, domestic and industrial biowastes), while biodiesel is made from vegetable oils and animal fats.
  2. Biofuel is the best form renewable source of energy because biomass will self-replicate itself over time, while biodiesel is, to some extent, a non-renewable form of energy because once vegetable oils and animal fats are used up, they won’t multiply.
  3. Biofuels produce more energy because it is made from naturally occurring biowastes, while biodieproducesuces less energy because it is from living things (plants and animals).
  4. Biofuels are used in industry because they produce a high amount of energy that does not hinder the normal functioning of the machines, while biodiesel is used in the combustion of ignition engines.
  5. After production, biofuels are in a liquid or gaseous state, while biodiesel, to some extent, is in a solid state.
  6. Biofuels are environmentally friendly, for they produce no emissions of carbon compounds that may negatively impact the ozone layer, while during the combustion of engines, biodiesel emits carbon compounds.
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