College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University,
Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas Tech University,
Lubbock, Tx, USA
A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary catalytic processes rather than by geological processes such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels, e.g. coal and petroleum. If the source biomass can regrow quickly, the resulting fuel is renewable energy. Biofuels can be produced from plants (i.e. energy crops), or from agricultural, commercial, domestic, and/or industrial wastes. Renewable biofuels generally involve contemporary carbon fixation, such as those that occur in plants or microalgae through the process of photosynthesis. Other renewable biofuels are made through the use or conversion of biomass (usually plants or plant-derived materials). Biofuels and bioenergy include four revolutionary generations as follows, first-generation or conventional biofuels are made from food crops grown on arable land; second-generation biofuels are manufactured from various types of non-food crops on arable land; third-generation biofuels are prepared from algae resources using non-arable land; and fourth-generation biofuels use genetically modified algae to enhance biofuel production. In recent two decades, catalysis science and technologies for the production of the above four generations of biofuels from various biomass resources have been intensively and extensively developed. In this special issue, review articles, regular research papers, and short communications will focus on the recent advances in catalysis science and technologies for biomass conversion to bioenergy and biofuels. In particular, review articles that cover insight into a specific catalytic biomass conversion (e.g. bio-oil upgrading, lignin hydro-pyrolysis, biosugar to biofuels) are encouraged.