Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Jump forward for biofuels?

The problem facing "grow-and-go" fuels like ethanol is the agriculture structure leading up to the pump (kinda like hydrogen). Corn takes too much space and resources (see my post on ethanol int he archives). Sugar cane takes tons of water as well as space. How about jatropha? What? From NY Times:

...a plant that can grow in marginal soil or beside food crops, that does not require a lot of fertilizer and yields many times as much biofuel per acre planted as corn and many other potential biofuels. By planting a row of jatropha for every seven rows of regular crops, Mr. Banani could double his income on the field in the first year and lose none of his usual yield from his field....jatropha can grow on virtually barren land with relatively little rainfall, so it can be planted in places where food does not grow well. It can also be planted beside other crops farmers grow here, like millet, peanuts and beans, without substantially reducing the yield of the fields; it may even help improve output of food crops by, among other things, preventing erosion and keeping animals out.

Good stuff!

No comments: