The development of a sustainable production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals from non-food biomass entails that a series of issue be addressed, in order to prevent serious problems to arise. World biofuel production and other renewable energy sources have increased in the recent past, but much they should further increase at a much-higher pace, in order to comply with the soaring energy demand and with the expected rise in CO2 emissions: the mitigation scenarios outlined by the International Energy Agency involves that almost one-fourth of emission reduction be ascribed to renewables plus biofuels. Unfortunately, no common guideline in the politics of energy development may be found, among European countries. The issue of land use changes is another subject of debate: although bio-fuels from dedicated crops have been blamed for some recent peaks in the price of cereals and oilseeds, it appears as only a small fraction of the area dedicated, e.g., to palm oil in Asia or maize in the USA are currently being harvested for non-food purposes. However, the enforcement of sustainability as well as bio-diversity criteria is seen as a crucial measure to ensure that biofuels do not lead to deforestation, loss of bio-diversity, etc. The food vs. non-food dilemma reflects on the prices of agricultural commodities, and the question whether diverting part of them to bio-energy leads to price increases returns contrasting answers. Even the issue of biofuels and developing countries, which is often raised by biofuel opponents, does not result in a negative picture: several examples may be cited of developing countries and rural communities profiting from policies of bio-fuel development. The next generation biofuels is the last item covered by the paper, and potentially that solving many of the pending uncertainties: “cellulosic” ethanol and diesel fuel are seen as the single step most able to improve the current rating of energy efficiency, while minimizing the impact on land use, food production and on the environment. It may be concluded, therefore, that the development of this specific sector of renewable energy is accompanied by growing expectations, provided that it is managed with a safe, multi-faceted approach.

Next generation biofuels from agro-waste and non-food biomass: taking into account food and environmental issues

BARBANTI, LORENZO;CAPPONI, SIMONE;VENTURI, GIANPIETRO
2009

Abstract

The development of a sustainable production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals from non-food biomass entails that a series of issue be addressed, in order to prevent serious problems to arise. World biofuel production and other renewable energy sources have increased in the recent past, but much they should further increase at a much-higher pace, in order to comply with the soaring energy demand and with the expected rise in CO2 emissions: the mitigation scenarios outlined by the International Energy Agency involves that almost one-fourth of emission reduction be ascribed to renewables plus biofuels. Unfortunately, no common guideline in the politics of energy development may be found, among European countries. The issue of land use changes is another subject of debate: although bio-fuels from dedicated crops have been blamed for some recent peaks in the price of cereals and oilseeds, it appears as only a small fraction of the area dedicated, e.g., to palm oil in Asia or maize in the USA are currently being harvested for non-food purposes. However, the enforcement of sustainability as well as bio-diversity criteria is seen as a crucial measure to ensure that biofuels do not lead to deforestation, loss of bio-diversity, etc. The food vs. non-food dilemma reflects on the prices of agricultural commodities, and the question whether diverting part of them to bio-energy leads to price increases returns contrasting answers. Even the issue of biofuels and developing countries, which is often raised by biofuel opponents, does not result in a negative picture: several examples may be cited of developing countries and rural communities profiting from policies of bio-fuel development. The next generation biofuels is the last item covered by the paper, and potentially that solving many of the pending uncertainties: “cellulosic” ethanol and diesel fuel are seen as the single step most able to improve the current rating of energy efficiency, while minimizing the impact on land use, food production and on the environment. It may be concluded, therefore, that the development of this specific sector of renewable energy is accompanied by growing expectations, provided that it is managed with a safe, multi-faceted approach.
2009
Next Generation Biofuels: Development of sustainable chemical processes for production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals from agricultural waste and non-food biomass.
1
62
L. Barbanti; S. Capponi; G. Venturi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/85071
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