Helge: The honeymoon for biofuel is over. First, we started to see critique for transforming food and crops to biofuel. There was this question of yield. How much energy is needed to get a ton of biofuel?
We had the case of Palm Oil to biofuel at the Neste Oil Porvoo plant.
The cellulosic biofuel is not generating the same amount of critique.
Stora Enso and Neste oil are building a cellulosic biodiesel pilot plant in Varkaus, Finland
But the lead author of one of the studies, Timothy Searchinger of Princeton University, offered some hope in a Science magazine podcast interview.
“The key” he said, “is you want to avoid using productive land because for the most part that productive land is either producing a lot of carbon benefits, carbon savings right now or food that has to be replaced. So that means, for example, if we make biofuels out of waste products, we don’t have that land conversion problem.
And that’s a pure benefit. There is also some thought that you might be able to find really degraded, marginal cropland and use that to produce biofuels on. That may, in fact, be true in some cases, but it’s going to be very, very specific because if it’s degraded, not producing a lot of crops, the question is whether it will produce a lot of biofuels."