Resources and Glossary

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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is the national trade association representing the biodiesel industry in the United States. Biodiesel is a domestic, renewable fuel for diesel engines derived from natural oils like soybean oil, and which meets the specifications of ASTM D 6751.
A new method of producing high efficiency and easily available biofuels from wood, grass and plants could soon be available, according to researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in Germany.

Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast have discovered a new eco-friendly way of dissolving wood using ionic liquids that may help its transformation into popular products such as bio fuels, textiles, clothes and paper.
Biomass is organic material made from plants and animals. Biomass contains stored energy from the sun. Plants absorb the sun's energy in a process called photosynthesis. The chemical energy in plants gets passed on to animals and people that eat them. Biomass is a renewable energy source because we can always grow more trees and crops, and waste will always exist. Some examples of biomass fuels are wood, crops, manure, and some garbage.
Energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy will mean a stronger economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy independence for America. Working with a wide array of state, community, industry, and university partners, the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in a diverse portfolio of energy technologies.
Biomass energy – Part of a Sustainable Future?
Biomass energy can be used for lighting, cooking, space heating, water heating, refrigeration and to fuel vehicles.
Biomass energy is not usually on people’s minds as are alternate energy sources such as wind, solar or hydropower energy when thinking about renewable sources of energy. Notwithstanding, it represents very common and available forms of energy indeed. It is rapidly becoming a more popular idea as oil prices rocket ever upwards. And it can mitigate global warming. In Europe its current use accounts for 0.95% of energy production. For 2010 that is forecast to be around 8%. In the USA now it accounts for over 3%.
Biofuel is defined as solid, liquid or gaseous fuel obtained from relatively recently lifeless or living biological material and is different from fossil fuels, which are derived from long dead biological material. Also, various plants and plant-derived materials are used for biofuel manufacturing.
Biotechnology defined:
1. The use of microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeasts, or biological substances, such as enzymes, to perform specific industrial or manufacturing processes. Applications include the production of certain drugs, synthetic hormones, and bulk foodstuffs as well as the bioconversion of organic waste and the use of genetically altered bacteria in the cleanup of oil spills.
2. The application of the principles of engineering and technology to the life sciences; bioengineering.
Biotechnology is technology based on biology, agriculture, food science, and medicine. Modern use of the term usually refers to genetic engineering as well as cell- and tissue culture technologies. However, the concept encompasses a wider range and history of procedures for modifying living things according to human purposes, going back to domestication of animals, cultivation of plants and "improvements" to these through breeding programs that employ artificial selection and hybridization. By comparison to biotechnology, bioengineering is generally thought of as a related field with its emphasis more on mechanical and higher systems approaches to interfacing with and exploiting living things. United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity defines biotechnology as: "Any technological application that uses biological systems, dead organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use."

Biotechnology draws on the pure biological sciences (genetics, microbiology, animal cell culture, molecular biology, biochemistry, embryology, cell biology) and in many instances is also dependent on knowledge and methods from outside the sphere of biology (chemical engineering, bioprocess engineering, information technology, biorobotics). Conversely, modern biological sciences (including even concepts such as molecular ecology) are intimately entwined and dependent on the methods developed through biotechnology and what is commonly thought of as the life sciences industry.