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Old 02-15-2008, 02:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tasdrouille View Post
Trebuchet, what is your opinion about bioD?
It's a catch22 :/

Originally, I was a person that said "yes, we have enough arable land to handle the demand." This still may be the case, but the recent facts are clear - even if we have the land (I believe only 3% of Earth's land is arable) - we're not using it.

Globally, foodstuff prices increased 37% last year (over the 14% increase in 2006). Food tensions, shortages and riots have taken their toll in Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Yemen and the list goes on… A stampede of cooking oil buyers, in China, left three people dead and thirty-one injured.

Last year, conversion of palm oil into fuel was a fast-growing source of demand, but in recent weeks, rising prices have thrown that business into turmoil.

Here on Malaysia’s eastern shore, a series of 45-foot-high green and gray storage tanks connect to a labyrinth of yellow and silver pipes. The gleaming new refinery has the capacity to turn 116,000 tons a year of palm oil into 110,000 tons of a fuel called biodiesel, as well as valuable byproducts like glycerin. Mission Biofuels, an Australian company, finished the refinery last month and is working on an even larger factory next door at the base of a jungle hillside.

But prices have spiked so much that the company cannot cover all its costs and has idled the finished refinery while looking for a new strategy, such as asking a biodiesel buyer to pay a price linked to palm oil costs, and someday switching from palm oil to jatropha, a roadside weed.
Cars have not created a new problem. They merely made more urgent the necessity to solve existing ones.
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