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One question that arises from the announcement by the UK government that new diesel and petrol cars will be banned by 2040 is what it means for biofuels. If cars running on fossil fuels will be substituted by electric cars, it could imply that all liquid transport fuels will be eliminated.
Around 5% of the volume of the average British tank of petrol or diesel comes from biofuels at present. It is produced from various sources, including corn, wheat, sugar beet and waste ranging from rotten vegetables to used cooking oil.
Biofuels in the UK by feedstock type
The large-scale use of biofuels dates back to the 1970s, when they were first introduced in Brazil through government incentives to build vehicles that could run on 100% ethanol produced mainly from sugar cane. Brazil remains a leader in biofuels, despite ups and downs over the years. More than a quarter of petrol content must comprise ethanol – and most vehicles can run 100% ethanol if they choose to.