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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FAPESP – Brazil is outstanding as the world’s most intensive user of bioethanol as an alternative to gasoline for powering transport. Total bioethanol production for 2012/13 is projected at 23.9 billion liters in 437 plants, 168 of which are dedicated exclusively to ethanol. In 2012/13 around 51 per cent of the 602 million tons of sugarcane will be used for ethanol and 49 per cent for sugar production. The total sugarcane planted area in Brazil is around 8 million hectares (ha). This accounts for only around 2-3 per cent of total area devoted to agriculture.
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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 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) – Sustainability is a key principle in natural resource management, and it involves operational efficiency, minimisation of environmental impact and socio-economic considerations; all of which are interdependent. It has become increasingly obvious that continued reliance on fossil fuel energy resources is unsustainable, owing to both depleting world reserves and the green house gas emissions associated with their use. Therefore, there are vigorous research initiatives aimed at developing alternative renewable and potentially carbon neutral solid, liquid and gaseous biofuels as alternative energy resources. However, alternate energy resources akin to first generation biofuels derived from terrestrial crops such as sugarcane, sugar beet, maize and rapeseed place an enormous strain on world food markets, contribute to water shortages and precipitate the destruction of the world’s forests. Second generation biofuels derived from lignocellulosic agriculture and forest residues and from non-food crop feedstocks address some of the above problems; however there is concern over competing land use or required land use changes. Continue reading
By Frances Jones
Agência FAPESP – The three leading São Paulo State universities are currently jointly preparing a landmark doctoral program in bioenergy. “We are organizing an excellent program in bioenergy, in which students will have the opportunity to study different aspects of the sector with top specialists and to connect with major research centers in the field worldwide,” explained Professor Carlos Alberto Labate from Universidade de São Paulo (USP), who is the general coordinator of the Integrated Doctoral Program in Bioenergy. The classes should begin in early March 2014.
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