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IMPORTANT NOTICE: for the data on trade (import and export), the trade data and total of the EAFO countries in scope is given, this INCLUDES internal EU/Europe trade!

 

Biofuels are currently the most important type of alternative fuels. They can contribute to a substantial reduction in overall CO2emissions,if they are produced sustainably and do not cause indirect land use change. They could provide clean power to all modes of transport. However, supply constraints and sustainability considerations may limit their use.

Biofuels can be produced from a wide range of feedstock through technologies in constant evolution and used directly or blended with conventional fossil fuels. They include bioethanol, biomethanol and higher bioalcohols, biodiesel (fatty-acid methyl ester, FAME), pure vegetable oils, hydrotreated vegetable oils, dimethyl ether (DME), and organic compounds. 

For more information please select the biofuel of interest, under ADVANCED Biofuels more details of certain Advanced Biofuels can be found.

First generation biofuels are based on food crops and animal fats. They mainly include biodiesel and bioethanol. In order to mitigate against possible impacts of some biofuels, the Commission has proposed to limit the amount of first generation biofuels that can be counted towards the Renewable Energy Directive. The RED is currently being revised and expected to be approved soon (“RED II”).

Liquid biofuels commercially available today are mainly "first generation" biofuels. Blends with conventional fossil fuels are compatible with the existing fuel infrastructure, and most vehicles and vessels are compatible with the blends currently available (E10 - petrol with up to 10% bioethanol and diesel with up to 7% FAME biodiesel content). Higher blends may require minor adaptations of power trains, and corresponding fuel standards need to be developed. High-level petrol-ethanol blend containing 85% ethanol (E85) is used in only few Member States in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) that can also use lower blends.

Consumer acceptance of biofuels has been hampered by the lack of coordinated action across Member States when introducing new fuel blends, the lack of common technical specifications, and the lack of information on the compatibility of new fuels with vehicles.

Some biofuels such as hydro-treated vegetable oils can be blended at any ratio with conventional fuels and are fully compatible with existing refuelling infrastructure and road vehicles, vessels, locomotives, and planes for up to 50% blends.