Navigation Links
Experts agree: Environmental standards needed for biofuels
Date:10/3/2008

EAST LANSING, Mich. The United States lacks the standards to ensure that producing biofuels from cellulose won't cause environmental harm, says a distinguished group of international scientists. But because the industry is so young, policymakers have an exceptional opportunity to develop incentive programs to ensure the industry doesn't harm the environment.

"Environmental standards are needed now, before the industry moves out of its research and development phase," said Phil Robertson, Michigan State University professor of crop and soil sciences and lead author of the paper "Sustainable Biofuels Redux" published in the Oct. 3 issue of the journal Science. "With production standards and incentive programs, cellulosic biofuel cropping systems could provide significant environmental benefits."

Currently, all the commercial ethanol produced in the United States is made from grain, primarily corn. Robertson said that science has shown that almost all intensive grain-based cropping systems, as currently managed, cause environmental harm. As director of the MSU Long-Term Ecological Research program at the Kellogg Biological Station, part of Robertson's research focuses on management practices that can reduce these negative effects.

"We can soften the environmental impacts by using strategies such as no-till farming to minimize erosion and planting cover crops to sequester carbon and reduce nitrogen and phosphorus run-off," he said. "But few farmers use all of the best available practices because there are limited incentives and many disincentives for them to do so. As the technology to make biofuels from cellulose is refined and commercialized, we believe it's crucial that the industry and legislators adopt policies that reward environmentally sustainable production practices for cellulosic biofuels. It's equally important for grain-based systems."

This is one of the first times such a large and diverse group of internationally recognized scientists have spoken with one voice on the issue. The 23 authors are some of the world's top ecologists, agronomists, conservation biologists and economists. The paper is the result of discussions that took place at a spring workshop on the environmental sustainability of biofuels sponsored by the Ecological Society of America.

"This was truly a collaborative effort," Robertson said. "There are strong and divergent scientific opinions on the sustainability of biofuel cropping systems. That this group, with its diverse backgrounds and professional experiences, can come to consensus is remarkable. Decision-makers should take notice."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jamie DePolo
depolo@msu.edu
609-354-8403
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Leading experts cite poor health and nutrition as major barrier to education in developing world
2. Improving science, technology in Africa is aim as G-8, African, UN experts convene in Berlin
3. Less Arctic ice means higher risks, experts warn
4. Soil, conservation experts to reflect on Hurricane Katrina disaster
5. Now is Africas turn for a green revolution, global experts say
6. Agriculture experts meet in Beijing to examine impacts of food prices and climate change on farmers
7. Experts from Stevens, Merck, publish joint paper, Biosynthetic Studies of Platensimycin
8. Internationally recognized experts presents a complete overview on hydroecology and ecohydrology
9. Leading researchers and experts gather to discuss latest advancements in drug discovery
10. Experts prove the geochemical origin of part of the CO2 emissions in semiarid climates
11. Sudden ecosystem flips imperil worlds poorest regions, say water experts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... ANGELES , March 30, 2017  On April ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s ... exciting two-day competition will focus on developing health and ... Hack the Genome is the ... been tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 28, 2017 The report "Video ... Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, ... The base year considered for the study is 2016 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces ... needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health ... As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments is now expanding into Analytical ... broad range of contract analysis services for advanced applications. Services will leverage ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , Oct. 6, 2017  The 2017 Nobel ... three scientists, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank ... in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have helped ... the structural biology community. The winners worked with ... now routinely produce highly resolved, three-dimensional images of ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... On Tuesday, ... webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The featured ... event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: