Meeting the demand for agricultural-based biofuel feedstocks

T. Todaro
Scoville PR for Targeted Growth, US

Keywords:

biofuels, feedstock, food vs. fuel

Abstract:

A Roe-Jolly-Wisner study projected that US farmers would need to plant nearly 14 million more acres of corn by 2012 to meet demand if the current per acre yields do not increase significantly. However, it is important to note that this will not fully address the world’s energy needs. Even if all the U.S. corn and soybeans were used, they would meet only 11 percent of gasoline demands and 8.7 percent of diesel demands. There is grave concern among renewable energy advocates about how the agricultural industry can meet the new demands for products spurred on by the growth in biofuels. There are really only three solutions to this issue. First, find a way to increase the yield of existing crops; second, identify and develop new crops that can be used as feedstocks; and third, create new non-agricultural feedstocks altogether. The real answer is a blend of all three. This presentation will combine a technical review of how gene technology is being used to increase yields, a discussion of the characteristics of new biofuel feedstocks and their potential for use in both fuel and grid energy sources, and lastly a peek at some of the new feedstocks under development.


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