Navigation Links
Study finds concerns with biofuels
Date:3/31/2008

Bothell, Wash. March 31, 2008 - Biofuels are widely considered one of the most promising sources of renewable energy by policy makers and environmentalists alike. However, unless principles and standards for production are developed and implemented, certain biofuels will cause severe environmental impacts and reduce biodiversity the very opposite of what is desired.

Corn-based ethanol is currently the most widely used biofuel in the United States, but it is also the most environmentally damaging among crop-based energy sources. A new article published in Conservation Biology, a publication of the Society for Conservation Biology, qualitatively contrasts major potential sources of biofuels, including corn, grasses, fast-growing trees and oil crops. The study highlights their relative impacts on the environment in terms of water and fertilizer use and other criteria to calculate the environmental footprint of each crop.

The central goals of any biofuel policy must minimize risks to biodiversity and to our climate, says lead author Martha Groom of the University of Washington. She recommends the further use of algae and fast-growing trees as biofuel sources because they yield more fuel per acre than any feedstocks currently being pursued.

As well as comparing potential biofuel feedstocks, the study also recommends a number of major principles for governing the development of environmentally friendly biofuels. Feedstocks should be grown according to sustainable and environmentally safe agricultural practices with minimal ecological footprints (the area of land required to grow and support sufficient amounts of the crop). In particular, emphasis should be placed on biofuels that can sequester carbon or have a negative or zero carbon balance.

While some biofuels may be an improvement over traditional fuels, we believe we should focus much more on the biofuels of the future that can be developed in small spaces, rather than extensively on crop lands, explains Groom. We also must shun biofuels that are grown by clearing biologically-rich habitats, such as tropical rainforests, as has occurred with oil palm and some other biofuels. The study was co-authored by Elizabeth Gray, the director of science for The Nature Conservancys Washington state program, and Patricia Townsend, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biology at UW.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sean Wagner
swagner@bos.blackwellpublishing.com
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
2. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
3. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
4. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
5. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
6. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
7. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
8. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
9. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
10. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
11. Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 According to a new market ... Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, ... Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to ... of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin ... its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and ... Gino Pereira ... look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... National executive ... leader with extensive assay development and biomarker expertise, as VP of Scientific Affairs ... CRO specializing in bio-analytical assay development and sample testing services. The organization acts ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... , ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... discovery of antibody therapeutics from millions-diverse immune repertoires, announces launch of its new ... Diego, California. Dave Johnson, PhD, CEO of GigaGen, will present on Surge at ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... ... development reported today that it is launching two new additions of its award-winning ... demonstrating new capabilities at the DIA 2017 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, June ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A colony of healthy honey bees is like a superorganism--individual ... and nectar containing nutrients necessary for growth and survival. Better nutrition gives the colony ... point to a decline in honey bee health. Sick and weakened bees diminish the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: