Global production of biofuels soared to an all-time high of 105 billion liters (28 billion gallons U.S.) in 2010, according to research conducted by Worldwatch Institute for the website Vital Signs Online. That output represents a 17-percent increase in compared to the estimated 90 billion liters (24 billion gallons) that were cranked out globally back in 2009. Worldwatch Institute says lofty oil prices, a global economic rebound and mandates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China and the United St
Ukraine is reportedly considering setting aside a portion of its crop of fodder potatoes for the production of biofuel, according to the nation's Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry. The Ukraine ranks fourth among all nations worldwide in terms of annual potato crop volume (beaten out by China, India and Russia). Since the price for the starchy, tuberous crop is low there, it's could make an ideal biofuel source.
U.S. and European policies, which call for increased production of ethanol and other biofuels to displace fossil fuels and possibly reduce global warming, could result in more deaths and diseases worldwide. Counter-intuitive, no? Well, according to a release from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), here's why making more biofuels may be detrimental to our health:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will soon explore the feasibility of offering crop insurance to producers of biofuel feedstocks ranging from straw to corn stover to woody biomass. This feasibility evaluation, to be funded by the Risk Management Agency, builds upon the USDA's ongoing effort to insure growers of switchgrass, energy cane and camelina.
The EU is getting serious about biofuels. The production of ethanol and biodiesel, an estimated 10.7 million tons for 2007, is up a 60 percent from 2006, when 6.5 million tons were produced, according to USDA data.
While some research at MIT focuses on improving the amount of fossil fuel that can be extracted from an oil well, others are trying to improve the efficiency of biofuel production. To make biofuels more economically viable, a group of researchers led by MIT’s Gregory Stephanopoulos is trying to improve the productivity of the microbes that convert treated biom