Taiwan is set to become the world's first country to produce ethanol fuel from yams, it has just been announced by the Taiwanese Council of Agriculture (COA). The ethanol will be blended with petrol in an attempt to reduce the level of petroleum imports which currently stands at 98 percent. Taiwan has around 220,000 hectares / 54,360 acres of uncultivated farmland which will be considered for biofuel production, according to the COA which also produces biofuel from soybeans, sunflowers, and rape blossoms.
At the same time, biomethane produced from waste, is being considered as a viable renewable fuel. Being able to produce a biofuel without diverting crops from food use is seen as a distinct advantage in Europe where it is fast proving itself. Another advantage is that the production costs of biomethane are not affected by world energy market swings. Its uses include injecting it into existing natural gas pipelines, use in vehicles as a natural gas, processed into compressed natural gas (CNG) or the more energy-dense liquefied natural gas (LNG).