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Biofuels are produced from biomass and cover a range of fuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel. Biodiesel is used interchangeably with FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) which is the generic chemical term for a bio-based component from renewable sources like soya oil, used cooking oils and animal fats/tallow. In addition, HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) is referred to as a biofuel produced via hydroprocessing of oils and fats, where DME (dimethyl ether) can be synthesized from biomass feedstock through a gasification process.

First-generation biofuels are produced from food crops grown on arable soil. The sugar, starch, or oil contained is converted into biodiesel or ethanol. This is currently 99% of today’s biofuels. Second-generation biofuels are made on the basis of lignocelluloses, wood biomass, agricultural residues, waste vegetable oil, and public waste. Third-generation biofuels are derived from microalgae cultivation; however, most efforts to produce fuel from algae have been abandoned.

Main advantages:

  • Biofuels can be fully renewable and nearly 100% CO2 neutral
  • Transport, storage, and handling are unusually simple – Biofuels can be used as drop-in fuels without new fuel infrastructure
  • Biofuels are regarded as an attractive contribution to the ongoing energy transition

Focus areas: 

  • Availability, costs, and origin of biofuels as bunker fuel
  • Blending of fuels – compatibility of different biofuels
  • Avoiding water mixture at handling/storage for possible bacterial growth 
  • Emissions
  • Read more

Solutions / technologies by MAN Energy Solutions: 

  • Products: MC, ME-B, ME-C including all dual-fuel engines
  • Ship applications: Tankers, container vessels, bulk carriers, RoRo vessels

  • Go to two-stroke engines



  • Products: Four-stroke engines: Please contact us regarding the individual biofuel type required as fuel in relation to the specific engine design.
    Many biofuels are already approved with and without restrictions. In general biofuels like e.g. ‘On Road Diesel’, ‘DM-Grades (B0)’
    and ‘DF-Grades (B7)’ are approved for our latest generation medium-speed and high-speed engines.
  • Solutions: Exhaust gas after-treatment systems
  • Ship applications: Container vessels and dredgers are being tested and operated with biofuels at present.

  • Go to four-stroke engines

Other future fuels