Chemical and Biomolecular Research Papers -- Faculty Authors Series



Demirel 0000-0002-8183-0991

Date of this Version



International Journal of Energy Research (2017) 42: 881–884

doi: 10.1002/er.3914


Copyright 2017, Wiley. Used by permission



First‐generation biofuels, namely, ethanol and biodiesel, have led to far reaching impact on the peoples’ life world‐wide.[1] However, they inter-fere with the food supply chain and may not be sustainable although some of the biomass are converted to biofuels after those biomasses have met the human needs. Still, the first‐generation–based biofuels have proved that sugar and lipid platforms can be an answer to energy security and global warming concerns without the need for new infrastructure for feedstock delivery as well as for biomass‐to‐biofuel conversion tech-nologies. At the same time, we are discovering and assessing the long‐term environmental im-plications on land and water usages, nitrogen ac-cumulation from fertilizers, and energy return on investment (EROI).

What about the progress for the second‐ and third‐generation sugar and lipid‐based biofuels? Are they sustainable and ready to replace the first‐generation biofuels? The answers to these questions are still not clear as the worldwide ef-forts to develop biofuels productions in a biore-finery concept are underway. This perspective displays and briefly discusses some recent trends that are (1) the feedstock options that help in-crease the market share of biofuels and rural eco-nomic activity by combining first‐ and second‐generation biomass feedstock for ethanol pro-duction with coproducts, (2) the technological readiness for biorefinery concept particularly in using the waste lignin as a feedstock for new chemicals and products, and (3) algal technology coupled with wastewater treatment facility and the anaerobic digestion to improve the overall sustainability.