Biofuel to Play a Major Role in the Future

by : Anthony Fontanelle

With the fast depletion of our fossil fuel reserves, different industries are experimenting and developing ways to provide better alternative to petroleum based fuels. The automotive industry is one of the major components in the campaign to develop cleaner burning fuel that comes from renewable source of energy.

Volvo is one car manufacturer that has come to help answer the call for the use of alternative fuels. Their recent investment on Chemrec has shown their dedication to the development of process to extract fuels that can be used on vehicles from biomass. This move on the part of the Swedish company is being mirrored not only by other car manufacturers but also of different countries around the globe.

The recently released comprehensive study by the Emerging Markets Online group entitled "Biodiesel 2020: A Global Market Study" shows that different countries are exerting effort in thee development of alternative fuels specifically biodiesel. The efforts put into the development of the alternative fuel coupled with the ever increasing demand for such fuels in the market shows that there is great hope for long-term development in the biofuels segment. The market for the biodiesel around the world is expected to grow exponentially in the next ten years as stated in the case study conducted by the energy intelligence agency. The expected surge on the demand for biofuel is in consonance with the current effort of car manufacturers to produce cars that will run on alternative fuels.

Currently, Europe is the largest consumer and producer of biodiesel, but thanks to the improving reputation of diesel engines in the US, the country is now producing biodiesel at a faster rate than the European Union and is poised to overtake Europe in the next few years.

But the strongest potential in the production and consumption of biodiesel is Brazil which is expected to overtake both the US and the European Union by the year 2015. Other countries like India and Chine also posses great potential in the biofuel segment, thanks to their government's drive to pose new alternative fuel policies to help in the preservation of the environment. Another reason for these countries potential to be great producers of biofuels is that diesel engines are far more popular in those regions as it is in the US.

But trend shows that US is now the fastest growing consumer of biodiesel, thanks to the efforts put in by car manufacturers to make their diesel engine produce significantly lesser noise and emissions than the previously employed diesel engines which gave diesel engines a bad reputation in the US. Today, seventy major biodiesel plants are supplying the country its biofuel demand but these plants are barely keeping up with the need hence over fifty more of such plants are being constructed, and these newer plants will produce biodiesel in a much larger quantity. Last year alone, the number of retail sites for biodiesel jumped to 950 from 2005's 300 retail sites. The more than 300 per cent increase in the number of such retail sites shows the increasing appetite of the American car industry for such fuels.

If the current trend in the development of facilities that will produce large quantities of biodiesel does not change, Brazil will become the largest producer of such alternative fuels. Another country that will gain in the production of biodiesel is China. If the country meets their projected target, they will surely become the world's largest consumer of biofuels, as sure as you can find high performance brake parts at . This expected rise of Brazil and China in the biofuel segment is projected through 2020.