Thurmond there are/will be three generations of biofuels (including biodiesel), which he defines as follows:
- First generation. "Based on traditional domestic production, economics and feedstocks-generally grown and sold near geographically agricultural areas."
- Second generation. "Based on the increasing transition of ethanol production facilities from traditional agricultural areas to new areas in coastal regions in order to take advantage of import, export, multi-feedstock and refinery co-location advantages."
- Third generation. "Based on emerging technologies and production processes such as cellulosic ethanol, biobutanol, and dimethylfuran that promise higher fuel production and investment returns per acre at lower costs."