26 Oct '11, 5pm

Turning trees into fuel is a bad idea, scientists show. Let's not repeat the corn ethanol debacle via @Michael_GR

Turning trees into fuel is a bad idea, scientists show. Let's not repeat the corn ethanol debacle via @Michael_GR

There are probably some good opportunity to use forest biomass for fuel - mostly for cogeneration in mills that would use part of the tree anyway and throw away the rest - but it seems like harvesting trees for the sole purpose of making biofuel is a bad idea, at least in the areas studied (the US West Coast). Besides, biofuels need to be burned in internal combustion engines, a technology that is inefficient from the start (you're lucky if you can get to 30% efficiency in real-world applications). Hopefully in the future more people will walk, bike, take mass transit, and the vehicles that are left will run on electricity (electric motors are more efficient, and they can be powered with electricity from a wide range of clean sources).

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/10/making-biofuels-w...

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