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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Energy-Water Nexus Research Guide: Biofuels

Find information on the connection between water and energy


Biofuels are fuels derived from biological materials, or biomass. Illinois is a major contributor to biofuel ethanol production.  Illinois ethanol production began in 1981 and in 2011, Illinois ranked 3rd in ethanol production in the United States, producing 30,068,000 barrels, or about 9% of the US total production (Source:  Energy Production Estimates in Physical Units, Ranked by State, SEDS, Energy Information Agency).  Cultivation of biofuel crops has implications for water supply when irrigation is used to grow the crops, and for water quality through the application of fertilizers and pesticides to biofuel crops.  Although there has been great emphasis on ethanol production from biofuel crops, there has been increasing research and development on noncrop sources, including restaurant waste.

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