The Most Popular Biofuel: A Ranking of Top Choices

Choose the biofuel you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 28, 2024 05:50
Step into the world of sustainable energy and let your voice be heard as we embark on a thrilling quest to discover the most popular biofuel! At StrawPoll, we're fueling the future with thousands of polls and rankings on diverse topics, and now it's time for you to cast your vote. Will it be biodiesel, ethanol, or perhaps a groundbreaking newcomer? The power is in your hands! Join us in this captivating race by voting for your favorite biofuel or even suggest an undiscovered gem. Together, we'll spark the change for a greener tomorrow. Don't let this electrifying opportunity pass you by – cast your vote now and ignite the conversation!

What Is the Most Popular Biofuel?

  1. 1
    Made from corn or sugarcane, ethanol is the most widely used biofuel for transportation. It is also used as a fuel additive to reduce emissions.
    Ethanol is a widely used biofuel made from renewable sources such as corn, sugarcane, and barley. It is a type of alcohol that can be blended with gasoline to create a more environmentally-friendly fuel for vehicles. Ethanol is a clean-burning, high-octane fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality.
    • Chemical Formula: C2H5OH
    • Energy Content: 26.8 MJ/L
    • Blending Ratio: Up to 10% (E10) in gasoline, up to 85% (E85) in flex-fuel vehicles
    • Boiling Point: 78.37 °C
    • Flash Point: Minimum 12.8 °C
  2. 2
    Made from vegetable oils or animal fats, biodiesel can be used in diesel engines. It is a renewable alternative to petroleum diesel.
    Biodiesel is a renewable and clean-burning alternative fuel made from a variety of feedstocks including vegetable oils, animal fats, and recycled cooking oil. It can be used as a replacement for or blended with petroleum diesel in diesel engines. Biodiesel offers significant environmental benefits, such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved air quality.
    • Energy Content: Biodiesel contains approximately 90% of the energy content of petroleum diesel.
    • Cetane Number: Biodiesel has a high cetane number, which indicates good combustion properties and helps improve engine performance.
    • Biodegradability: Biodiesel is readily biodegradable, making it less harmful to the environment in case of spills or leaks.
    • Sulfur Content: Biodiesel has negligible sulfur content, which reduces emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx) that contribute to air pollution.
    • Carbon Neutrality: Biodiesel is considered carbon-neutral as the carbon dioxide released during combustion is offset by the CO2 absorbed by the feedstock crops.
  3. 3
    Made from natural gas or biomass, methanol is used as a fuel in some countries. It is also used as a feedstock for the production of chemicals.
    Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol, is a colorless and volatile liquid that is commonly used as a biofuel. It is produced through the synthesis of carbon monoxide and hydrogen gases, a process known as the methanol synthesis. Methanol is considered one of the most popular biofuels due to its high energy content and relatively low production costs.
    • Chemical Formula: CH3OH
    • Molar Mass: 32.04 g/mol
    • Melting Point: -97.6 °C
    • Boiling Point: 64.7 °C
    • Density: 0.791 g/mL
  4. 4
    Produced from organic materials such as agricultural waste, biogas is used as a fuel for heating and electricity generation. It can also be upgraded to biomethane for use as a transportation fuel.
    Biogas is a type of biofuel that is produced through the anaerobic digestion or fermentation of organic matter such as agricultural waste, food waste, sewage, or even energy crops. It primarily consists of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), along with small amounts of other gases such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and nitrogen (N2). Biogas can be used as a renewable source of energy for heating, electricity generation, or even as a vehicle fuel.
    • Main Component: Methane (CH4)
    • Secondary Component: Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
    • Other Gases: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), Nitrogen (N2)
    • Production Process: Anaerobic digestion or fermentation
    • Feedstock: Organic matter (agricultural waste, food waste, sewage, energy crops)
  5. 5
    Made from cellulosic biomass such as grasses and wood chips, bioethanol is a renewable alternative to gasoline. It is still in the early stages of development.
    Bioethanol is a type of biofuel that is produced through the fermentation of sugar, starch, or cellulose-rich materials. It is mainly derived from crops such as sugarcane, corn, and wheat. Bioethanol is commonly used as an additive to gasoline or as a standalone fuel in flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs). It is known for its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its compatibility with existing infrastructure.
    • Energy content: Approximately 26-29 MJ/L
    • Octane rating: Around 112-129
    • Molecular formula: C2H5OH
    • Boiling point: 78.37 °C
    • Flash point: 12.8 °C
  6. 6
    Produced from biomass through biological processes, biohydrogen is a clean and renewable fuel. It can be used in fuel cells to generate electricity.
    Biohydrogen is a renewable energy source produced through the biological process of hydrogenesis, where certain microorganisms generate hydrogen gas through the breakdown of organic materials. It holds great potential as a clean, sustainable fuel due to its high energy content and the fact that its combustion only produces water vapor as a byproduct.
    • Energy content: 2.4 times higher than gasoline
    • Renewable source: Produced from organic materials
    • Emission: Only releases water vapor upon combustion
    • Source availability: Derived from biomass, organic waste, etc.
    • Environmental impact: Low carbon footprint
  7. 7
    Made from biomass such as corn or sugarcane, butanol can be used as a gasoline substitute. It has a higher energy content than ethanol and can be blended with gasoline at higher levels.
    Butanol is a type of biofuel that belongs to the family of alcohols. It is produced through the fermentation of biomass, such as corn, sugar beets, or cellulose, by certain types of bacteria. Butanol is commonly used as an alternative fuel for gasoline-powered engines due to its high energy content and compatibility with existing infrastructure.
    • Energy Content: 29.2 MJ/L
    • Octane Rating: 90
    • Boiling Point: 117.7 °C
    • Flash Point: 35 °C
    • Autoignition Temperature: 385 °C
  8. 8
    Vegetable oil
    Netojinn · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Used as a fuel in some diesel engines, vegetable oil can be produced from a variety of crops such as soybeans, palm oil, and canola. It is not as widely used as biodiesel due to its high viscosity.
    Vegetable oil is a type of biofuel that is derived from plants. It involves extracting oil from various plant sources, such as soybeans, rapeseeds, sunflowers, or palm fruits. The extracted oil is then undergoes refining processes to make it suitable for use as a biofuel.
    • Calorific value: 36-41 MJ/kg
    • Flash point: >220°C (428°F)
    • Viscosity: 10-19.5 cSt at 40°C
    • Cetane number: 45-65
    • Cloud point: -10 to 16°C
    Vegetable oil in other rankings
  9. 9
    Made from compressed sawdust and other wood waste, wood pellets are used as a fuel for heating and electricity generation. They are a renewable alternative to fossil fuels.
    Wood pellets are a type of biofuel made from compressed sawdust, wood shavings, or other wood waste materials. They are cylindrical in shape and have a uniform size, typically around 6-8mm in diameter and 10-30mm in length. Wood pellets are a highly efficient and clean-burning source of energy, widely used as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels for heating or power generation purposes. They are commonly used in pellet stoves, biomass boilers, and industrial-scale heating systems.
    • Energy Density: Approximately 18-19 MJ/kg
    • Moisture Content: Usually less than 10%
    • Ash Content: Typically less than 1%
    • Bulk Density: Around 600-750 kg/m³
    • Sulfur Content: Very low, less than 0.05%
    Wood pellets in other rankings
  10. 10
    Made from algae, this biofuel has the potential to be a sustainable and renewable source of energy. It is still in the early stages of development.
    Algae biofuel is a type of renewable, sustainable fuel derived from algae biomass. It is considered one of the most promising biofuels due to its high productivity and potential environmental benefits. Algae biofuel can be produced using various species of algae, including microalgae and macroalgae.
    • Renewable Source: Algae biofuel is produced from renewable resources, making it a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.
    • High Productivity: Algae can yield significantly more biomass per acre compared to traditional biofuel crops such as corn or sugarcane.
    • Carbon Neutrality: Algae biofuel has the potential to be carbon neutral or even carbon negative, as algae can absorb carbon dioxide during growth.
    • Wide Range of Production Locations: Algae can be grown in various environments, including freshwater, saltwater, and wastewater, making it adaptable to different geographic locations.
    • Minimal Land Requirement: Compared to land-intensive crops, algae biofuel production requires minimal land, which helps reduce deforestation and land use conflicts.

Missing your favorite biofuel?


Ranking factors for popular biofuel

  1. Feedstock availability and sustainability
    The availability and sustainability of feedstocks used in the production of biofuels are essential. A popular biofuel should have an abundant feedstock supply that doesn't compete with food crops or strain resource use.
  2. Energy density
    Biofuels with high energy density can provide more energy per unit of volume. This makes them more efficient and popular due to their potential to replace or supplement traditional fuels.
  3. Greenhouse gas emissions
    The overall greenhouse gas emissions from production, transport, and use of biofuels should be low to be considered a popular biofuel. The lower the emissions, the more environmentally friendly the fuel is and the higher its popularity.
  4. Cost-effectiveness
    The cost of producing and using biofuels should be competitive with other fuels on the market. A popular biofuel should be affordable for both producers and consumers.
  5. Infrastructure compatibility
    A popular biofuel should be compatible with existing infrastructure, such as storage, transport, and fueling systems. This allows for easier adoption and integration of the biofuel into existing markets.
  6. Government policies and incentives
    Government support, through policies and incentives, can significantly impact the popularity of a biofuel. Financial incentives, regulatory support, and favorable policies can drive biofuel adoption and production.
  7. Market demand
    The overall market demand for a specific biofuel, driven by end-user preferences and needs, should be a key factor in ranking popularity. High-demand biofuels are more likely to attract investment and infrastructure development.
  8. Technological advancements
    The technology associated with producing and using a specific biofuel, as well as its potential for future advancements, should be considered.
  9. Public perception and acceptance
    The overall perception and acceptance of a biofuel by the public and key stakeholders (e.g., policymakers, farmers, industry) can influence its popularity. Biofuels that are widely accepted and considered sustainable are more likely to be popular.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular biofuel. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or biofuel is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 218 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each biofuel once every 24 hours. The rank of each biofuel is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular biofuel

Biofuels are a type of fuel made from organic matter, such as crops or waste materials. They are a renewable source of energy that can be used to power vehicles and generate electricity. Biofuels are becoming increasingly popular as the world looks for ways to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions. There are several types of biofuels, including ethanol, biodiesel, and biogas. Ethanol is made from corn, sugarcane, or other plants, while biodiesel is made from vegetable oils or animal fats. Biogas is produced from the breakdown of organic matter, such as food waste or animal manure. The most popular biofuel in the world is ethanol, which is used primarily as a gasoline additive. In the United States, ethanol is blended with gasoline in varying amounts, depending on the state. Brazil is the world's largest producer and consumer of ethanol, where it is used as a transportation fuel in pure form or blended with gasoline. Biodiesel is also gaining popularity, particularly in Europe, where it is used as a diesel fuel substitute. Biogas is used for heating and electricity generation, particularly in rural areas where it can be produced from local waste materials. Overall, the use of biofuels is expected to continue to grow as countries seek to reduce their carbon footprint and move towards a more sustainable energy future.

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