Driving with Bio-ethanol
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Archive for March, 2008

Is bio-ethanol driving up food prices?

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Readers in Germany may find this article interesting.  Once again, bio-fuels are being blamed for taking the food out of other peoples’ mouths.

What’s new about the argument this time, is that there is an explanation as to why this is happening.

Normally I hear a straight forward claim, that the production in Europe is taking food out of the mouths of people in Africa – without any thought as to whether the food would have actually been transported to Africa in the first place.

The new claim is somewhat different – due to the bio-ethanol production the price of the raw materials has risen, and that means that aid agencies have to pay more for things such as grain.  This in turn means that they can buy less of it to feed people.

Perhaps more regulation of the system is required so that the aid agencies still get their grain at a reasonable price, without stifling the competition of the bio-fuel producers?

I assume that other types of bio-fuel, eg. from wood chippings, is not affecting these prices and could therefore be a better option?



Two more studies on bio-fuels

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Two more studies on the effects of bio-fuels have appeared.  It seems that the opinion has swung back against their use, citing the CO2-emissions released during the production of the fuels.

So it’s back to the old questions: how do we produce fuels such as bio-ethanol, without emitting more CO2 than we would were in the first place?

Is there a better solution to the problem?



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