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

Those sugars are the key to making biofuels, because once the polymers are broken down into simple sugars, those sugars can be fermented into liquid biomass. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Gribble Worm Could Hold Secrets for Cheaper Renewable Energy," 5 Dec. 2018 Exxon Mobil is working to reduce emissions from its refineries, invest in more biofuels and develop more environmentally friendly plastics, Woods said. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Exxon Mobil touts goals to grow oil, gas while reducing emissions," 30 May 2018 Qantas recently replaced 10 percent of its jet fuel with mustard-seed biofuel on one of its flights. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Tonight a Virgin Atlantic 747 will fly on fuel made from industrial waste gas," 2 Oct. 2018 Lifting the summer ban is expected to be coupled with new restrictions on trading biofuel credits that underpin the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, commonly known as the ethanol mandate. Matthew Daly, The Seattle Times, "Trump to allow year-round sales of high-ethanol gasoline," 8 Oct. 2018 The two big sources of renewable transportation remain biofuel, like ethanol, and renewable electricity. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Renewable Energy Will Grow Massively Across The Globe by 2023, Says IEA Report," 9 Oct. 2018 Her research group has developed enzymes that change simple sugars to isobutanol, an energy-rich substance used in the production of biofuels and plastics. Joanna Sugden, WSJ, "Nobel Chemistry Prize Is Awarded to Three Evolutionary Scientists," 3 Oct. 2018 That biodiesel came with 36 million legitimate RINs, which certified that the associated biofuel was genuine. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Dept. of Justice cracks down on another multimillion dollar biofuel fraudster," 27 Sep. 2018 Arnold’s methods are now used to produce pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, and enzymes for biofuels. Umair Irfan, Vox, "3 scientists sped up evolution in a lab. Their work just won a Nobel Prize.," 3 Oct. 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

21 Mar 2019

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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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