By Elton Alisson
Agência FAPESP – Recent resolutions by several countries, including the United States, to increase utilization of renewable fuels through 2021 – in addition to the general need to increase energy production and distribution worldwide – should boost global expansion of the biofuels industry in the coming years.
However, the sector must overcome myriad challenges to meet the greater global demand for bioenergy. These challenges include increasing cultivation of the agricultural crops that are utilized to generate biofuels without affecting food production; adapting to the impact of global climate change in agriculture; and competing on unequal footing with fossil fuels, which are strongly subsidized by innumerous countries, including Brazil… >>Continue Reading<<
Source and Photo: FAPESP, January 22nd, 2014
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By Elton Alisson
Agência FAPESP – Brazil is recognized as the country with the world’s most efficient biofuel production, which is principally based on sugarcane. The success that the country has enjoyed in transforming this plant into a bioenergy source, however, is due more to a pioneering initiative to create an industrial system for ethanol production than the plant itself.
The system began to be developed in the 1930s when an agronomic development program that made the plant highly efficient was established. Despite these efforts, the agronomic performance of sugarcane is still below that of the other raw materials tested for this purpose over the last few years in different parts of world.
Posted in About Brazil, Bioenergy, Bioethanol, Biofuel, Documents and Reports, Environment, Renewable Energy
Tagged Bio-ethanol, biofuels, Renewable Energy, Sugarcane, Sustainability
FAPESP – Brazil is the largest producer of ethanol from sugarcane in the world and occupies the leadership in technology for its production. The advances in technology have meant that its productivity is outstanding and the costs of production much lower than those of its international competitors. This leadership is due to the long work of many years undertaken by researchers in institutions of higher education and research and in private enterprises, which has resulted in a valuable baggage of knowledge and technology on sugarcane and its derivatives and on the process of ethanol manufacture.
Posted in About Brazil, Agroenergy, Bioenergy, Bioethanol, Biofuel, Renewable Energy
Tagged advances in technology, Bioenergy, Biofuel, Brazil, Environment, Ethanol, ethanol production, Renewable Energy, Sugarcane, Technology
The Crop Site – Patrick Brown, an assistant professor in plant breeding and genetics, said having a complete characterization of the locations (loci) affecting specific traits will speed up the adaptation of sorghum and other related grasses to new production systems for both food and fuel.
Brown is working on the project through the Energy Biosciences Institute at the U of I, hoping to use the sorghum findings as a launching pad for working with complex genomes of other feedstocks. The EBI provided the startup funding for the study.
To adapt the drought-resistant, tropical sorghum to temperate climates, Brown explained that sorghum lines were converted over the years by selecting and crossing exotic lines with temperate-adapted lines to create lines that were photoperiod-insensitive for early maturity, as well as shorter plants that could be machine-harvested. >>Continue Reading<<
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The Guardian – Hydrogen makes an extraordinarily efficient and clean fuel. Three times as energy-efficient as petrol, Nasa used it to power its space shuttles. It can be used to generate electricity and only produces water as a byproduct.
And yet, scientists are struggling to scale up hydrogen production. Ironically, given hydrogen’s green potential, the cheapest and most viable sources are hydrocarbon-based compounds such as natural gas. But liberating hydrogen from fossil fuels creates carbon emissions that outweigh any environmental advantages.
Science Direct (Summary) – Energy is a vital input for social and economic development. As a result of the generalization of agricultural, industrial and domestic activities the demand for energy has increased remarkably, especially in emergent countries. This has meant rapid grower in the level of greenhouse gas emissions and the increase in fuel prices, which are the main driving forces behind efforts to utilize renewable energy sources more effectively, i.e. energy which comes from natural resources and is also naturally replenished. Despite the obvious advantages of renewable energy, it presents important drawbacks, such as the discontinuity of generation, as most renewable energy resources depend on the climate, which is why their use requires complex design, planning and control optimization methods. Continue reading
Embrapa Agroenergy – Seven billion inhabitants. This figure marked the year 2011. The life of every human being, like mine or yours, counts as one in this figure. With this number of people on the Planet come to the fore fundamental questions about power, energy supply and sustainability. Thus, the debate over “food production versus energy generation” remains a topic that deserves attention of society and professionals working in research and development of biofuels. For discussion of this issue, the first question to be considered is the fact that the extensive productions of foods require the use of large energy, mainly as a fertilizer and fuel. Nowadays, the fuel is needed to move tractors, combines, trucks, water pumps, and other machinery. Fertilizers are needed to replace the soil nutrients for the plants. The use of heat and electricity are also critical in several agro-industrial processes. For those reasons, it is clear that to produce food for the population is necessary to use energy. Continue reading
Posted in About Brazil, Agroenergy, Bioenergy, Bioethanol, Biofuel, By-Products, Renewable Energy, Uncategorized
Tagged biofuels, Biorefinary, Embrapa Bioenergy, Renewable Energy
By Manoel Teixeira Souza Jr.
Embrapa Agroenergy – In 2050, according to various estimates, our planet will have a population slightly more than nine billion people. The challenge for all of us over the coming decades is to ensure the means for producing food and energy in sufficient quantity and quality to meet the demand from a population with two billion more people than today. Demand this already suffering and will continue to suffer, more changes in its nature than its volume, which results in significant increase of input of water and soil, to name only two of the most used features. These resources need to be sustainable, both economically, as the social and the environmental.
Posted in Agroenergy, Bioenergy, By-Products, Environment, Inspiring Cooperation, Renewable Energy
Tagged agro forestry, Biodiversity, Biofuel, Brazil, Embrapa Agroenergy, Environment, soybean oil
This study is part of a broader research process assessing the local economic, social and environmental impacts from feedstock expansion for the growing biofuel sector. Nonetheless, in the Malaysian context, biofuel production volumes are negligible despite government interest in romoting sector expansion.
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Since Malaysia is the second largest palm oil producer in the world, palm oil is slated to become the primary feedstock for biofuel production in the country. Since palm oil consistently outperforms all other substitute vegetable oils on price, it is also becoming an important feedstock globally. While a rapidly growing global biofuel sector could develop into an important new market outlet for Malaysia, it does carry a number of risks. This paper aims to reflect on these risks by exploring the local social and land-use impacts of oil palm in the Beluran District of Sabah State. This is based on household surveys to discover the perception of impacts among relevant local stakeholder groups, and remote-sensing analysis. While the impacts of oil palm in the study site cannot be attributed to the biodiesel industry per se, lessons learnt will be directly applicable to the biodiesel sector in Malaysia, and relevant for the whole Southeast Asia region.
Posted in Bioenergy, Biofuel, Climate Exchange, Documents and Reports, Environment, Florest, Global Warming, Natural Resources, Renewable Energy
Tagged Biodiesel, climate, Environment, impact, jatropha, palm oil producer, process, Southeast Asia, southeast asia region
By Andrew M. Sugden
Science – The conversion of tropical forest to oil palm plantations has rapidly increased over the past decade, predominantly in Southeast Asia, where such cultivation now dominates over 2 million hectares. Substantial biodiversity loss accompanies such conversion, but little is known of the ecology of the resulting landscape. Azhar et al.’s survey of bird faunas in plantations and logged swamp forest in Malaysia shows that guilds were affected in different ways. Notably, raptors were more abundant in plantations than in logged forest, whereas the reverse was true for insectivores and granivores. Patterns within plantations were also influenced by the management regime (e.g., smallholding versus estate) and proximity to forest. Edwards et al. surveyed the functional diversity—a measure incorporating foraging, morphology, and behavior—of bird faunas across habitat gradients (from plantation to logged and primary forests) in Borneo. Functional diversity was similar between logged and primary forest but greatly reduced in plantations, with just a few generalist species filling a wide range of functional roles. These studies demonstrate that continued conversion from logged forest to oil palm plantation will lead to further losses of species and functional diversity.
Source: Science, 3th May, 2013
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Posted in Bioenergy, Environment, Florest
Tagged Bioenergy, Birds, climate, Environment, functional diversity, oil palm plantation, oil palm plantations, Palm-oil, Renewable Energy, swamp forest