Last update: 23.12.2010
Biofuels learn to eat less
Source : newscientist.com
The feast is coming to an end for biofuel producers. Their supposedly clean, green fuel has been gobbling up some of the choicest food crops, including corn, rape and soya, leading to controversy and protests around the world. Now the industry increasingly finds itself forced to dine on more meagre fare: the inedible scraps left by other industries. But it is now finding ways to turn these scraps into a hearty dinner - and it could even provide for others, too. First-generation biofuels are a victim of their own success. Talk of climate change and energy security led to a surge in crops grown to fill fuel tanks rather than stomachs, bringing food price hikes and changes in land use. So the goal now is to efficiently convert so-called "second-generation" sources - grasses, wood, paper and the inedible waste from food crops - into biofuels. One of the main biofuels is bioethanol, which could supplement or even replace gasoline as a transportation fuel.
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27 May 2010 |
United States & Canada
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