HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials
European Commission Limits Food-Based Biofuel
11/2/2012

The European Commission wants to limit the use of food crops as a source of biofuel, and instead promote non-food sources, such as this Miscanthus, or elephant grass, grown in the UK, as a biofuel feedstock.   (Source: Wikimedia Commons/David Wright)
The European Commission wants to limit the use of food crops as a source of biofuel, and instead promote non-food sources, such as this Miscanthus, or elephant grass, grown in the UK, as a biofuel feedstock.
(Source: Wikimedia Commons/David Wright)

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 3/3
naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
real effect of biofuels
naperlou   11/2/2012 11:01:55 AM
NO RATINGS
This is an interesting situation.  I really thought that the reason for the EU to limit biofuels was that there are food shortages from the drought in the US that have driven up the cost of basic foodstuffs.  The issue of using land that was not under cultivation is a really imprecise measure.  This happens in the realm of food production all the time depending on market conditions.  For example, in the US, peanut production was at an all time high this year.  The reason is two fold.  First, crops were down and prices up in the previous couple of years.  So, more land was put into cultivation.  There was also a very high yield becuase the regions where peanuts are grown had lots of rain this year.  In the EU, there are major distortions caused by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).  This has nothing to do with fuel production.  In the US we have our farm policy.  In both cases we have been paying farmers for years to not grow cash crops to keep prices to farmers up.  Now the market does that for us.

The alternatives are not all they are cracked up to be either.  Algae would have to cover a large area to be useful.  Are we ready for that?  In addition, do the crops get credit for the CO2 they absorb while they are growing?  This would be an interesting calculation.  I have seen oil refineries and I have seen ehtanol plants.  Is the CO2 from the oil refineries in the calculation?  What about the transport of oil around the globe.  Ethanol tends to be used near where it is distilled. 

Any real comparison should take into account the whole cycle of production, including the equipment.  I don't think we have seen that done for oil, or ethanol, in a comprehensive manner.

<<  <  Page 3/3
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has entered Mars' atmosphere, carrying instruments to help Earthlings figure out what happened to it. Launched last November, the spacecraft arrived at the red planet right on time after a journey of 442 millionmiles.
More bioplastic materials have entered the 3D-printable filament fray. These PLA formulations reinforced with wood or bamboo fibers will debut at the October Composites Europe show in Germany.
Airbus Defence and Space has 3D printed titanium brackets for communications satellites. The redesigned, one-piece 3D-printed brackets have better thermal resistance than conventionally manufactured parts, can be produced faster, cost 20% less, and save about 1 kg of weight per satellite.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
GE Aviation not only plans to use 3D printing to mass-produce metal parts for its LEAP jet engine, but it's also developing a separate technology for 3D-printing metal parts used in its other engines.
Design News Webinar Series
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service