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Researchers examine world's potential to produce biodiesel
Date:10/17/2007

common. In fact, the world's top five soybean and palm oil producers - Malaysia, Indonesia, Argentina, the United States and Brazil - accounted for 80 percent of the potential global biodiesel production, the researchers found.

Based on current export volumes of vegetable oil from 119 countries, Johnston also estimated that a grand total of 51 billion liters of biodiesel could be produced annually - enough to meet roughly 4-5 percent of the world's existing demand for petroleum diesel. Yet, although interesting, these numbers aren't the main point.

"We're not suggesting that all exported vegetable oil should be converted into biodiesel, because that would fundamentally upset the food supply," says Holloway. "We're looking at this more from each individual country's perspective: They're already exporting one thing, could they be exporting something else""

Because the study employed data from online, public sources - primarily the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Statistics Division - Holloway points out that any country could repeat the calculations or do its own analysis of the biodiesel opportunity. And she and Johnston hope they will.

"I'd love to see some of these development opportunities come to fruition for some of these countries," Johnston says.


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Contact: Matt Johnston
mjohnston@wisc.edu
608-265-8720
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

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