Biofuels in the fight against climate change

Biofuels generated from crops were born as an alternative to fossil fuels and with the aim of reducing our dependence on them, thus creating a path towards the use of more sustainable energies. This mitigates the damage caused by fossil fuels and helps to combat climate change.

What are biofuels?

These are ecological fuels obtained from the physical or chemical treatment of vegetable or animal biomass, which stand out for being a renewable and clean source of energy.
A key aspect is that during combustion, biofuels generate energy without contributing net CO₂ to the environment. This is possible because the products used in their manufacture absorb CO₂ from the environment, thus contributing to the neutralisation of pollutant emissions.

Biomass is a source of energy from non-fossil and bio-based materials that encompasses various elements. These elements range from energy crops to agricultural and forestry wastes, as well as their by-products such as manure or microbial biomass.

In this case, we will focus particularly on biofuels generated by energy crops, i.e. those plant crops intended for the creation of biomass to generate biofuels.

Types of biofuels

Biofuels are a valuable source of renewable energy and are classified into two main groups according to their production and composition: biodiesel and bioethanol.

Biodiesel (High oil content)

  • Oilseed rape
  • Soybeans
  • Sunflower
  • Palm
  • Jatropha
  • Thistle
  • Ricin
  • Camelina

Bioethanol (High sugar content)

  • Corn
  • Sugar cane (energy crops)
  • Sugar beet (energy crops)
  • Corn (energy crops)
  • Sweet bream (energy crops)
  • Topinambur (energy crops)
Tractor recolectando cultivo de trigo


The use of biofuels in agriculture provides a number of important benefits, ranging from abundant feedstock and lower prices to boosting the agricultural sector by generating renewable, efficient and sustainable energy. It also helps to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and to generate employment in rural areas. Finally, the resulting decarbonisation mitigates climate change.

If you want to learn more about how to have a higher yield in your crops in a sustainable way you can do it in our International Master in Agribusiness Management.

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