biofuel

noun
bio·​fu·​el | \ ˌbi-(ˌ)ō-ˈfyü(-ə)l How to pronounce biofuel (audio) \

Definition of biofuel

: a fuel (such as wood or ethanol) composed of or produced from biological raw materials — compare fossil fuel

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Did You Know?

Since the early 19th century, "fossil fuel" has been used to refer to fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas which are formed from the remains of plants and animals which have lain in the earth for millions of years. In the 1970s, a new word, "biofuel," began to be used to describe a different kind of fuel, one taken from more contemporary organic matter. These fuels include ethanol, which can be derived from such products as corn and sugarcane, and biodiesel, which can be formed from vegetable oils. These organic sources are reflected in the prefix, bio-, meaning "life" or "living organisms or tissue." The prefix bio- was borrowed from the Greek bios, meaning "mode of life."

Examples of biofuel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Two nations, Indonesia and Malaysia, provide the world with more than 80 percent of the palm oil used in everything from biofuel and cooking oil to lipstick and chocolate. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "One Casualty of the Palm Oil Industry: An Orangutan Mother, Shot 74 Times," 29 June 2019 The plant is used for various products from clothing, building materials and food to soap, biofuel and medicinal purposes. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "3 things to know about Mitch McConnell and Kentucky's hemp industry," 29 Nov. 2017 Life scientists are embarking on countless other big data projects, including efforts to analyze the genomes of many cancers, to map the human brain, and to develop better biofuels and other crops. Quanta Magazine, "Our Bodies, Our Data," 7 Oct. 2013 That puts the focus on biofuels, which generate fewer emissions than traditional jet fuel. Lauren Zumbach, chicagotribune.com, "Airlines turn to sustainable fuels, carbon offsets, compostable cutlery to fend off environmental 'flight shame' stigma," 14 June 2019 The other environmentally friendly steps United took on Wednesday's flight: The Boeing 737-900 flight, with 161 passengers, was powered not just by traditional jet fuel; 30% was biofuel made from agricultural waste. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Biofuel, beeswax wraps and recyclable coffee cups: United debuts 'eco-friendly flight'," 6 June 2019 But biofuel use is but a drop in a very big bucket: United Airlines, ahead of most airlines in green initiatives, burned 1 million gallons of biofuel... Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "Just How Green Are U.S. Airlines?," 13 Feb. 2019 Europe — after years of grandstanding — is finally going to revise its biofuels policy to reduce imports of climate-intensive alternative fuels like palm oil. Nithin Coca, Vox, "The most important country for the global climate no one is talking about," 6 Dec. 2018 And if the ethanol mandate were really about encouraging biofuel consumption, why has Congress imposed tariffs that keep out cheap Brazilian sugarcane ethanol? Thomas Landstreet, WSJ, "Biofuel Mandates Are a Bad Idea Whose Time May Be Up," 11 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'biofuel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of biofuel

1974, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near biofuel

bioflavonoid

bioflick

biofouling

biofuel

biog

biogas

biogen

Statistics for biofuel

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for biofuel

The first known use of biofuel was in 1974

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More from Merriam-Webster on biofuel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with biofuel

Nglish: Translation of biofuel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of biofuel for Arabic Speakers

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