Photo of "Australia" by reinn. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.
One of the most common slogans in support of biodiesel is: "Biodiesel - No War Required." While that may be true in the sense that the US won't need to ship 140,000 troops to the Middle East to secure the supply of the stuff, there is still plent of conflict over large-scale production of the biofuel in some places. The BBC reports on the situation in Columbia, where the local army and paramilitary units are evicting residents from their land in order to make room for massive biodiesel plantatio
Developing countries are focusing their efforts on biofuels as a means of saving their economies. Bolivia is one of them but the Andine country is taking a greener path. According to a speech made by Miguel Daboub, a Bolivian who works in the Brazilian biofuel industry, during a conference in La Paz, the country has great potential for a really sustainable biofuel industry. Daboub was interviewed by Agroinformacion (a site that focus on agriculture from a business point of view) and gave his opi
Indonesian corporation Sinar Mas Group is planning to build two massive new palm-oil biodiesel plants for fuel export to Europe and the U.S. The first of the two is to be built on the Indonesian island of Sumatra with an annual capacity of 400,000 tonnes with the second to be built in Malaysia with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year. The plants should both be up and running by the end of 2008.
Thailand has been moving heavily to promote the use of biodiesel produce from palm oil. Unfortunately, they are already running short of the palm oil, so now the government is examining whether to allow imports of the oil. The Thai government Oil Fund may also introduce new incentives to get growers to plant more trees.
Crude palm oil (CPO), used extensively as a biodiesel feedstock in South East Asia, has seen its popularity go through the roof over the last few years as Europe's mandatory biodiesel targets have seen global demand boom. Despite the environmental concerns over large scale rainforest destruction to make way for ever more oil palm plantations, the price of CPO has been low enough that economic demand has not waned. The laws of supply and demand have started to kick in though and suddenly palm oil
The price of palm oil, which has gained favour over the last few years as a cheap biodiesel feedstock, is soaring. Another relatively new use of palm oil is as a trans-fat substitute for use in processed food. But the oil palm, grown mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia, is not well liked - it has been blamed for rainforest destruction, the death of orang-utans, air pollution and exploitation of workers.
Natural Fuel, a major Australian biodiesel producer which is now 50 percent owned by Babcock & Brown Environmental Investments Ltd., says that it has raised AUD$80 million / US$62 million in its public share offer ahead of listing on the Australian Stock Exchange this week.
While rapeseed/canola continues to be the main biodiesel feedstock in Europe, and soy dominates U.S. biodiesel production, a host of other plants are moving biodiesel forward in other parts of the world. In the Philippines, the Biofuel Act is about to pass into law mandating the immediate use of one percent biodiesel, increasing to two percent after two years. The numbers seem small but it has prompted a massive in-surge of investment in biodiesel production capacity with Chemrez Technologies pl
South Korea may become the Asian equivalent to Brazil in producing biofuel. Singapore, one of the largest regional oil refiners, has easy access to palm oil, a component of biodiesel, from Malaysia and Indonesia. Already one entrepreneur, Kom Mam Sun, who opened his biodiesel plant in June, has earned a profit from his biodiesel plant.