Chemistry: What is Bio-Diesel?
Biocrude is a replacement for geologically sourced crude oil, made from biomass. Since the carbon in biomass comes from the environment, biocrude has low or zero carbon footprint. Biocrude is a next-generation non-fossil form of energy which can be transported and refined using existing petroleum facilities. Biocrude is different from biodiesel.
In September 2007 Archer Daniels Midland and ConocoPhillips announced plans to collaborate on the development of biocrude. This collaboration will have two parts:
Biocrude may also been made from algae. LiveFuels Inc. is working with Sandia Labs on this "oilgea" concept. And, BioCrude Ltd. has developed a process to convert a variety of organic waste feedstocks into a viscous fuel oil.
The primary biofuel in use today is corn- or cane-based ethanol, which exhibits several negative characteristics. These include the very large amount of energy required to create ethanol from corn, and the corrosive effect of ethanol on piping and engine components. The rising price of grain leads to increase in the final cost of grain-based ethanol.
Biocrude does not exhibit either of these problems. It is very similar to low-sulfur "sweet" crude oil, and can be used as feedstock in existing petroleum refineries. It can be made from agricultural waste products, so will not be negatively affected by rising grain prices.