The Promise of Biofuels


“If all starch, sugar, fat and natural oils were used to make liquid biofuels and none went to food, feed or other industrial uses (…) biodiesel could meet 8% of diesel demand,” Tony Regan, principal consultant with Singapore energy consultancy Nexant, told a gathering held by the British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

With the various pressures on biodiesel feedstocks, which in southeast Asia include palm oil — a critical food crop and a target for environmentalists angry at rainforests being felled for fuel — it is likely that only a small fraction of the world’s total potential biodiesel production will ever be realized.

Regan estimated that biodiesel might realistically meet around 1% of world diesel demand by 2010.

One Comment

  1. Biopact

    disagrees, pointing out studies which show that biofuels could supply at leasst 400 exajoules by 2050. However, so-called second general bioreactors are required to efficiently make biodiesel from other than vegtable oils. But for just first generation biodiesel, Jatropha is being used now and more is planted daily on soils which are unsuited for food crops, even oil palms.

    However, I suspect that the lasst paragraph is about right.

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