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
A new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) makes a start on developing control schemes, process measurements, and modeling and simulation methods for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing.
Although bio-based polymers face challenges from petroleum-based polymers, in certain markets they can displace the petro-based incumbents. Here are six new bio-based and renewable plastics for a variety of applications.
BASF has developed tools and initiatives to help engineers use more of its renewable materials in their designs, more effectively, as well as to build parts using them with more predictable performance.
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
Design News Webinar Series
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
5/7/2015 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.
May 4 - 8, Designing Low Power Systems using Battery and Energy Harvesting Energy Sources
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


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.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service