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Sustainable bioenergy project has global launch
Date:7/7/2009

"Global Sustainable Bioenergy: Feasibility and Implementation Paths" is a response to confusion and uncertainty on whether the world should look to bioenergy --biofuels, heat and electricity -- as a prominent factor in meeting global energy needs.

Scientists from around the world are joining forces to seek resolution of issues related to sustainable production of energy from biomass.

"There are tremendous opportunities to integrate biomass production with food crops and forest management to enhance both economic and environmental outcomes," said Tom Richard, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering and director of Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment.

The three-stage project is led by Richard, Nathanael Greene, Natural Resources Defense Council who chairs the steering committee and Lee Lynd, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College and Mascoma Corporation. The first stage of the project is a series of five meetings scheduled around the world beginning in Malaysia in November 2009. In the first half of 2010 meetings will take place in the Netherlands, South Africa, Brazil and the United States. An 11-person organizing committee will oversee the meetings with international representation from academic, environmental advocacy and research institutions (engineering.dartmouth.edu/gsbproject).

"While there is a natural reluctance to consider change, we must do so since humanity cannot expect to achieve a sustainable and secure future by continuing the practices that have resulted in unsustainable and insecure present," Lynd said in a commentary in Issues in Science and Technology as chair of the GSB steering committee. "Most analyses involving biofuels have been undertaken within a largely business-as-usual context. In particular, none have explored in any detail on a global scale what could be achieved via complementary changes fostering graceful coexistence of food and biofuel production."

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Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

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