Environmental Expert says Biofuels goals `may lead to food shortages`. A World Bank study warns that parts of the developing world, particularly India and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, will suffer food shortages if their planned biofuels targets are implemented by 2020. The expansion of biofuels would cause significant land re-allocation with decreases in forest and pasture lands in some countries. In addition it would cause a reduction in food supply. Agricultural commodities such as sugar cane, corn and oil seeds, which are primary biofuel feedstocks, would experience significant price increases. The study looked at 25 countries and geographical regions, including Latin American and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa and the United States. The study says unless unused fertile lands in developing nations are utilised, more farmers may convert food cropland into biofuel feedstock, which could lead to a decrease in food supply and high food prices.

The impact that growing cassava for biofuel is having on deforestation in the developing world is vividly presented at Vietnam.net In Central Highlands: cassava swallows the forest.

CO2 Science in Biofuels or Bust refers us to another study which concludes that biofuels do not replace fossil fuels and can even increase greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural economists at Oregon State University studied US biofuel policies and concluded they are ineffective and costly, producing negligible reductions in fossil fuel use and significant increases in greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, the Sioux City Journal refers to a study by economists at the University of Wisconsin and iowa State University which found that ethanol lowered US gasoline prices by $1 per gallon in 2011.

Reuters introduces us to the next generation biofuel production facilities that are about to come on-line in the US. The new facilities are designed to shift the industry to “advanced” fuels made from products that will not compete with the demand for food. Many companies are turning to cellulosic plant materials, animal waste and plant oils to produce millions of gallons of ethanol, diesel, jet fuel or components for gasoline. For example, KiOR Inc. intends to convert wood products into components, or blendstocks, that can be used in gasoline and diesel fuel. The US expects to be producing 2.3 billion gallons of advanced biofuels by 2015.

Mozambique has a new ethanol plant says macauhub. The facility has a production capacity of 2 million litres of ethanol made from cassava, a woody shrub which is the source of tapioca. Cassava is one of the most drought-tolerant crops, capable of growing on marginal soils, and is a major staple in developing world diets. The ethanol will be used as a substitute for expensive charcoal used to cook food.

Forbes examines the potential for algae as a transportation fuel.

Biofuels Digest tells us that the Central Asian country of Azerbaijan is entering the biofuels market. The government plans to build a complex for electricity generated from biogas, to be completed by 2014. The biogas will be produced from animal waste at a nearby cattle farm.

In One Mill’s Waste, Another Mill’s Megawatts R&D Magazine writes about how electricity is being generated in China by blast furnace gas, a waste product of the steel making business. The steel mill, owned by Wuhan Iron and Steel Company, uses the electricity to make 20 million tons of steel while powering 260,000 homes in the city of Wuhan.

Electric Light & Power reports on biogas plants opened in Pakistan to be used for heating, cooking, electricity or compressed to make motor fuel. The Small Industries Development board of Pakistan has launched the plants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The goal is to set up at least 400 small and medium biogas plants in Peshawar, Abbottabad, Charsadda, Mansehra, Hripur and Nowshera districts. The biogas is created from biogenic material comprised of methane and carbon dioxide. See also Utility Products, Biogas plants project launched in KPK.

In Dehli, India the Okhla Waste Power Plant has finally started selling power to distribution companies after converting landfill garbage into electricity we learn from the Hindustan Times.

8000 hog are producing biomethane and generating electricity for 53 homes in the US state of Nebraska reports the Columbus Telegram. The biomethane is used to power a pick-up truck and tractor on the hog farm.

Farmers in Central Java, Indonesia are beginning to produce biogas from anaerobic digesters reports the Jakarta Post. The Group Association of Farmers Qaryah Thayyibah has created 300 units of biogas digesters in 20 subdistricts across the province. Farmers owning more than two cows are able to use their animals’ dung to produce enough energy for both cooking and lighting and no longer need to purchase kerosene.

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