Biofuels such as ethanol, biogas and rapeseed oil are renewable fuels produced by living organisms (biomass). Unlike fossil fuels – such as petrol, diesel, natural gas and coal – which take millions of years to form, biomass is constantly being created.
One of the major advantages of biofuels is that they do not contribute to the greenhouse effect. This is because the amount of carbon dioxide emitted when such fuels are combusted is equal to the amount of carbon dioxide that the plant (which the fuel consists of) consumed before it was harvested.
When fossil fuels are combusted, on the other hand, a surplus of carbon dioxide is released, which contributes to the greenhouse effect.