Bioenergy > Feedstocks
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Feedstocks refer to the crops or products, like waste vegetable oil, that can be used as or converted into biofuels and bioenergy. Each feedstock has advantages and disadvantages in terms of how much usable material they yield, where they can grow and how energy and water-intensive they are.
- Click on any of the feedstocks for the different biofuels below for more information. Many of the feedstocks can be used for a range of technologies.
First generation feedstocks includes those that are already widely grown and used for some form of bioenergy or biofuel production. The vast majority of these crops are also used for food and feed production, which means that there are possible food versus fuel conflicts.
Sugars and starches
Alcohols, including ethanol (drinking alcohol) and butanol ("wood" alcohol), have been used as a source of bioenergy for thousands of years. Henry Ford designed his first cars to run on ethanol. Alcohols are produced by the fermentation of sugars, so the higher the yield of sugar in a feedstock the higher the yield of ethanol. Starches can be broken down into sugars with the use of enzymes and then converted into alcohols for fuel, although this extra step means that processing starches is somewhat less efficient than processing sugars.
- While enzymes that can break down starches have been well commercialized, the enzymes and other technologies for producing cellulosic ethanol (see below)are still relatively expensive.
Oils & Fats
Plant and animal oils and fats have been used as sources of bioenergy, light and heat since the beggining of human civilization. In the modern world, Rudolph Diesel's original diesel engine was designed to run on peanut oil, and today diesel engines, power plants and other machines can be converted to run off of pure plant oil. Plant oils and animal fats can also be converted, through transesterification to biodiesel, which will run in any diesel engine without modification. Different feedstocks produce biodiesel with slightly different properties (Citation needed). Many of the plants with the highest oil-yields are also important sources of food like soybeans. As a result there are real concerns over the food vs fuel conflicts. As a result, many countries, like India, are looking at non-edible oils from plants like jatropha. There are also a range of waste oil products that can be used without effecting food supplies.
- coconut oil
- mustard seed
- oil palm - Has the highest oil yield of any plant and is grown mostly in Indonesia and Malaysia. There are concerns that expanded production will come at the expense of rainforests and biodiversity.
- rapeseed - Is the main feedstock for biodiesel in Europe (Citation needed).
- soy beans - Is the main feedstock for biodiesel in the United States (Citation needed).
- sunflower seed
Oil yields of Common Oil Crops
Note: Yield figures are most useful as comparative estimates as actual crop yields vary widely.
|Crop||kg oil/ha||litres oil/ha||lbs oil/acre||US gal/acre|
|tung oil tree||790||940||705||100|
Traditional biomass feedstocks
The following feedstocks have been traditionally grown for use as a raw material or for charcoal or other form of bioenergy production. Most of these crops are also candidates for being used as a feedstock for second generation technologies.
Second generation feedstocks
Second generation feedstocks refers broadly to crops that have high potential yields of biofuels, but that are not widely cultivated, or not cultivated as an energy crop. It is sometimes used to refer to convential crops, like mustard that are considered to have strong biofuels potential. Most commonly, it refers to cellulosic feedstocks.
Most plants and trees are made of inedible cellulose. Cellulose, in the form of firewood has been used as a basic form of bioenergy for millenia. Recent advances in bioenergy, ranging from the simple (biomass pellets) to the complex (cellulosic ethanol), have created a need for high-yield feedstocks.
- The crops under consideration are mostly grasses and trees, which as perennial crops may also provide a range of environmental benefits over annual crops like corn and soybeans.
- Because yields of cellulosic feedstocks are much higher because any part of the plant can be used and because they don't compete with food, cellulosic feedstocks are seen as the best hope for large-scale, sustainable biofuel production.
- Crops, like switchgrass, which are grown purely for energy and have no use as food or fibre, are also called dedicated energy crops.
- Cellulosic technologies that can use these feedstocks include Cellulosic ethanol, biomass-to-liquids, gasification, biogas and others.
Other second generation feedstocks
While humans have been growing grasses and trees for millenia, there are completely novel crops that are being considered as bioenergy feedstocks. Even more then cellulosic feedstocks developing techniques to cultivate these crops at scale pose major challenges.
- When Defending Biofuels, Supporters Point to History, 27 March 2012 by David Ferris for Forbes: "At a conference today sponsored by the Carbon War Room outside Washington, D.C., a panel of biofuels entrepreneurs, supporters and financiers pointed to disruptive episodes in American history that bear some similarity to the current debate over cooking-oil fuel that costs $26 a gallon."
- "Kate Brandt, an adviser to U.S. Navy, echoed a line of argument that her boss, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, has been making recently: that the Navy has led several revolutions in the propulsion of warships, from wind power to coal in the 1850s, from coal to oil at the time of World War I, and in the 1950s from oil to nuclear power for aircraft carriers and submarines."
- One of the major promises of biofuel, Brandt said, is price stability. A $1 rise in the cost of oil costs the Navy $30 million, she said. “For us this is a true and present vulnerability,” she added.
- "Biofuel could avoid zigzagging prices because so many feedstocks are under development at so many points of the globe, unlike oil, where prices are determined by the relatively few countries that possess it. The Navy’s goal, Brandt said, is to obtain eight million barrels of oil from renewable sources by 2020." 
- ‘This must be the most researched subject in the EU’s history!’, 19 March 2012 by Nusa Urbancic for European Federation for Transport and Environment: "Two new reports are expected to put more pressure on the Commission over its biofuels policy. Both add to the growing bank of evidence that under current policies, changes in land use caused by growing biofuels crops will wipe out the climate benefits of using certain biofuels, especially in the case of biodiesel."
- "One report on the cost-effectiveness of policies to decarbonise transport, due to be published by a group of consultancies later this month, says most models show that indirect land-use change (Iluc) will mean ‘a net increase of greenhouse gases’ for biodiesel. The other report, also still to be published, says that if biofuels’ lifecycle emissions, rather than just direct emissions, from Iluc are taken into account, the EU would achieve little more than half its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2050." 
- EPA switches course on new feedstocks in fuel standard, 6 March 2012 by Amanda Peterka for Governors' Biofuels Coalition: "On the heels of opposition from the environmental community, U.S. EPA today withdrew a rule that would have added four new feedstocks to the Renewable Fuel Standard."
- "The direct final rule, proposed in early January, would have allowed advanced biofuels made from camelina oil, energy cane, giant reed and napiergrass to qualify under the yearly obligations set by the standard. It also would have opened the standard to biomass-based jet fuel and certain renewable gasolines made from crop residues and yard, food and municipal solid wastes."
- "But in a notice posted today in the Federal Register, the agency said it is withdrawing the rule after receiving 'adverse comment.' EPA had proposed the initial rule without taking public comment, describing it as a 'noncontroversial' action." 
- Land Matters – Sizing up the bioenergy potential of marginal lands, 5 March 2012 by Greg Breining: “During 2007-8, world food prices exploded…. Many analysts later pinned most of the blame on commodities speculation, oil prices, and weather—not biofuels production. But the food-versus-fuel debate had begun.”
- “Today, looking beyond corn for ethanol toward the possibility of producing cellulosic and other new biofuels on a meaningful commercial scale, researchers and policymakers are asking: How can we raise new non-food feedstocks without displacing food crops?”
- “Such concerns have driven the search for abandoned land. J. Elliott Campbell, assistant professor of engineering at the University of California, Merced and colleagues from Stanford University consulted historical land-use data dating to 1700, satellite land-cover imagery, and global ecosystem modeling to identify lands worldwide that had once been farmed but now lay idle.”
- “Campbell’s and Cai’s assessments identify lands suitable for biofuel crops. That’s not to say they are economically viable. The actual acreage used for biofuel feedstocks will depend on land ownership, transportation costs, markets, prices of other crops, [etc.]…” 
- ANALYSIS-Biodiesel doubts threaten EU green transport targets, 5 March 2012 by Charlie Dunmore and Ivana Sekularac, in Sharenet: "Growing consensus that EU may miss 2020 biofuel targets... Demand for biodiesel threatened by land use change studies... Switch to bioethanol seen as unlikely to make up shortfall."
- "The European Union will almost certainly miss its 2020 targets for cutting transport fuel emissions if policymakers act on scientific warnings about the climate impact of biofuels."
- "Several EU studies have questioned the climate benefits of biodiesel made from European rapeseed and imported palm oil and soybeans, and some have warned that it releases as many climate-warming emissions as conventional diesel."
- "With two-thirds of EU biofuel use in 2020 projected to come from biodiesel, there is a growing consensus that any move to exclude some biodiesel feedstocks, such as the U.S. has proposed in the case of palm oil, would put the goals out of reach. Even if Europe tried to boost its use of bioethanol and advanced biofuels from non-crop sources to make up the shortfall, technical barriers and the EU's rising thirst for diesel would still leave it short of the mark." 
- IATP paper probes deeper implications of ILUC debate, 2 February 2012 by Ethanol Producer Magazine: "[T]he Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy released a paper by Julia Olmstead reflecting on the lessons learned regarding the debate over indirect land use change (ILUC)."
- "One of the points made in the six-page paper emerging from those efforts is that although those in support of the ILUC factor have argued higher demand for corn for ethanol production stimulates land conversion, it may be based on a faulty assumption."
- "The paper broadens the discussion from concerns regarding land use change to the larger role agriculture plays, the impact of market structures and the global concerns regarding deforestation and climate change."
- Biofuel Research Suffers From Gaps, 20 January 2012 by Chemical & Engineering News: "After a review of a decade’s worth of biofuels research, scientists with the Environmental Protection Agency have concluded that significant knowledge gaps will likely prevent experts from adequately assessing biofuels’ full environmental impacts....While researchers have paid substantial attention to greenhouse gas emissions, the new study says, they have focused little on how the production and use of biofuels affects biodiversity and human health."
- "'The last 10 years or so of research may have left us short of understanding what biofuels really may do to global economies, the environment, and society,' says Caroline Ridley, an ecologist with the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment, in Arlington, Va., who led the study."
- "The team found that the most common topics, with a few hundred papers each, were fuel production, feedstock production, and greenhouse gas emissions. Near the bottom of the list, 80 studies examined how biofuel production affects biodiversity, for example how local species fare after farmers clear large stretches of land to grow corn, switchgrass, palm oil, or other biofuel feedstocks. And only 15 studied the human health impacts of increasing levels of air pollutants produced by burning biofuel ethanol."
- "The team also found that researchers have focused largely on the environmental consequences in the Northern Hemisphere even though regions in the Southern Hemisphere, such as Indonesia, will probably grow most of the feedstock crops...."
- "Ridley and her team warn that these holes in biofuels research mean that expanded biofuels use could lead to unanticipated problems. As a result, she suggests her team’s results could offer a useful guide to decision makers in allotting research funds...."
- Access the study, Biofuels: Network Analysis of the Literature Reveals Key Environmental and Economic Unknowns
- Call for an effective implementation of the Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) issue in the EU biofuels policy, 21 December 2011 by E-Energy Market: "A group of companies, trade associations and NGOs have send a letter to the commission that a practical and effective solution are needed to address the ongoing debate about Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) in European biofuels policy."
- "The group warns that it blocks 1)Meeting EU renewables targets, 2)Helping to deliver energy security, 3)Fostering rural economic development and, 4)Developing a sustainable bioenergy system that can help towards decarbonising transport in Europe and beyond."
- "The companies also fear the ILUC policy is counterproductive in its exclusion of certain feedstocks. The effects of banning one feedstock would lead to an increased demand of the alternative feedstock and herewith increasing the need for land."
- "The group claims that none one of policy options being assessed encourage producers to adopt additional practices that reduce ILUC risks, nor do they improve investor confidence for biofuel development."
- Advanced Biofuels Required for UK to See RED, 17 November 2011 by Waste Management World: "The UK is at risk of missing its renewable transport targets without significant investment in a new generation of biofuels, according to a recently published government study."
- "Under the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED), member states will be required to meet 10% of the energy used for road and rail transportation from renewable sources by 2020."
- "Currently, most of the country's renewable fuel is derived from vegetable oils. However, due to limited availability and competing demands for sustainable vegetable oils, the study argues that conventional biofuels are likely to produce just 3.7% to 6.6% of the required 10% target."
- "In assessing the how and if the UK will meet the Eu target, NNFCC drew up two illustrative scenarios to examine how the industry could develop in the UK."
- "Under a modest development scenario, and assuming that advanced biofuels produced from waste feedstocks are eligible to count double towards the RED, advanced biofuel production in the UK could contribute 2.1%age points toward the UK's 10% renewable fuels in transport target."
- "Under the same assumptions, with favourable economic conditions and strong improvements in policy, a strong development scenario could see advanced biofuels produced from waste and lignocellulosic feedstocks could contribute 4.3% points toward the UK's 10% renewable fuels in transport target."
- Fat Replaces Oil for F-16s as Biofuels Head to War, 18 October 2011 by Bloomberg Businessweek: "Biofuels face their biggest test yet -- whether they can power fighter jets and tanks in battle at prices the world’s best-funded military can afford."
- "The U.S. Air Force is set to certify all of its 40-plus aircraft models to burn fuels derived from waste oils and plants by 2013, three years ahead of target, Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary Kevin Geiss said. The Army wants 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. The Navy and Marines aim to shift half their energy use from oil, gas and coal by 2020."
- "Yet the U.S., stung by an oil embargo during the 1973 Arab- Israeli war, won’t deploy biofuels beyond testing until prices tumble."
- "The armed forces say they’ve been successful testing fuels produced from sources as diverse as animal fat, frying oils and camelina, an oil-bearing plant that’s relatively drought- and freeze-resistant."
- "The military wants its vehicles, except for the ships that are nuclear-powered, to be able to use new combustibles, cutting fossil fuel imports from politically unstable nations."
- Britain’s biomass demand will affect climate, wildlife – R.S.P.B., 7 September 2011 by EcoSeed: "United Kingdom charity group Royal Society for the Protection of Birds revealed in a report that Britain's increasing demand for biomass could lead to serious damage to wildlife and climate."
- "The report showed that the proposed scale of British biomass development will surpass the continent's domestic fuel supply. Currently, the country's biomass industry heavily relies on domestic supplies amounting to 74 percent."
- "However, changes on the use of biomass may yield to dependence on biomass imports from countries such as Canada, the United States, Russia, and the Baltic states."
- "R.S.P.B. believes that Britain is capable of having a sustainable bioenergy sector based on wastes and domestic feedstocks if the government acts to encourage more sustainable technologies at appropriate scales, rules out subsidies for large-scale electricity production dependent on imported wood, improves sustainability standards, and fully accounts for all emissions from bioenergy."
- Washington Start-Up Promises Cheaper, More Efficient Biofuel Generation, 22 April 2011 by Triple Pundit: "One start-up in Washington state promises that it can develop biodiesel cost effectively with a wide range of feedstocks: everything from wood chips to waste from the pulp and paper industry."
- "The company uses two fuel processing techniques that can convert wood and other plant-based materials into biodiesel: one is specifically from the pulp and paper industry, the other similar to petroleum refining."
- "Instead of using enzymes or microbes, the process involves acid hydrolysis, almost identical to a process that the pulp and paper industry uses."
- "According to Mercurius, a biorefinery using its technology could produce biodiesel at US$0.90 a gallon; that is almost two-thirds less than the cost to make a gallon of cellulosic ethanol, which currently runs about US$2.40 a gallon."
- Ethanol: How Much Can We Produce?, 5 April 2011 by RenewableEnergyWorld.com: "Innovations in America’s ethanol industry are constantly delivering new ways to reduce water and energy consumption at the plant, coax more energy out of the feedstock and cut greenhouse gas emissions through use of renewable energy."
- "But researchers from General Motors, Auburn University and Coskata Inc. have also identified ethanol as the most efficient and productive way to create renewable fuels from biomass – such as agricultural waste, trash and other cellulosic materials – that is often otherwise left unused in the United States."
- "As oil prices spike on unrest and instability in the Middle East, research demonstrates that we have more than enough cellulosic feedstock for conversion into ethanol in this country to cut our foreign oil consumption by as much as 30 percent."
- "Some of the paper’s findings echo other work – such as the finding that ethanol substantially reduces carbon emissions, compared to other transportation fuels. But other conclusions would surprise critics of ethanol. For example, the paper concludes that using higher blends of ethanol improves the performance of today’s high-compression engines, because of its superior qualities over gasoline as a fuel."
- Renewable Fuels Agency closes, 25 March 2011 by 24dash.com: "On Thursday, 31 March the Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) will be dissolved as part of a wider review of arms-length government bodies. Its duties will be transferred to the Department for Transport."
- "In its brief history, the Renewable Fuels Agency has been responsible for several achievements that went beyond good practice and set the scene for a more sustainable supply of biofuels."
- "Above all, it has established a system allowing the provenance of fuels to be tracked from farm to fuel supplier."
- "It has delivered real, demonstrable changes in the procurement policy of major oil companies leading to better environmental and social outcomes – many of the obligated suppliers’ annual sustainability reports outline how they have been influenced by the RTFO with some reporting real changes to their biofuel strategy in response to the regulation or conversations with the RFA."
- "It has produced the figures that back up the assumption that there are good biofuels and bad biofuels – its regular reports cut through the background chatter and allow comparison of feedstocks based on facts rather than opinion."
- Vilsack Signs MOU to Support Biofuels; USDA Looks to Develop Crop Insurance for Biofuel Crop Producers, 2 March 2011 by EthanolMarket.com: "Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that he will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to encourage the continued development of bio-based products for energy consumption, animal feed, chemicals and other uses."
- Bristol's biofuels plant must be refused planning permission, 10 February 2011 by The Guardian: "Burning biofuels in power stations is environmental vandalism on a staggering scale."
- "The operators have two options. They could burn the cheapest available vegetable oils, which means palm and soya oil. These are also the most destructive: driving massive deforestation in both south-east Asia and the Amazon"
- "Alternatively, the operators could burn cheaper oils, such as rapeseed. In doing so, they cause two problems. The first is to raise world food prices. The second is to create a vacuum in the world edible oils market, which is filled by … palm and soya oil."
- "Whichever kind of vegetable oil you burn, you'll end up trashing the rainforests of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil."
- "Somehow the government still classes burning edible oils to make electricity as green, and issues renewables obligations certificates for it – which is the only reason why it's happening."
- Biodiesel roars back with mandate, tax credits, B20 OKs, 7 February 2011 by Biofuels Digest: "'The EPA has said that they are going to enforce the 800 million gallon volume RFS2 requirement' said National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe to Biodiesel magazine, 'and we will have the tax credit in place.'"
- "At the same time, there are challenges on the feedstock front. Bottom line, jatropha, camelina and algae are still emerging feedstocks, soy and canola are pricey, waste oils & greases are tough to find at scale, and palm is politically radioactive."
- "For sure, the biodiesel industry is in a right jolly mood in comparison to 2009 or 2010, and has set its theme as 'Advance'. In part, that’s a recognition of biodiesel, under the rules of the Renewable Fuel Standard, as an 'advanced biofuel’ and that’s a market position that the biodiesel industry would like to have in the mind of every renewable fuels stakeholder"
- "We continue to see biodiesel as a growing fuel, but not yet do we see the near-term feedstock availability, at affordable prices, for the fuel to have major US advancements beyond mandated levels in the billion-gallon range, before mid-decade, without importing jatropha oil from abroad (if it is not snapped up by the military or aviation sectors first)."
- Shell Exits Algae Biofuels Development, 1 February 2011 by Chem.Info: "Last week Shell announced that it will will exit its shareholding in Cellana, a joint venture between Shell and HR Biopetroleum (HRBP)."
- "In 2007, HRBP and Royal Dutch Shell had formed Cellana as a separate joint venture to build and operate a demonstration facility to grow marine algae and produce vegetable oil for conversion into biofuel."
- "'In keeping with Shell’s portfolio approach to the research, development and commercialisation of advanced biofuels, this decision will allow Shell to focus on other options that have shown a better fit with Shell’s biofuels portfolio and strategy.'"
- "To support the transition, Shell has agreed to provide short-term funding to advance and focus the algae technology development program which is supported by stakeholders including the University of Hawaii, Hawaiian Electric Company, Maui Electric Company, the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts consortium, and the DOE."
- USDA lists bioenergy program awardees, many are biodiesel plants, 24 January 2011 by Biodiesel Magazine/USDA: "Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new investments in 33 states to support the production and usage of advanced biofuels."
- "Authorized under Section 9005 of the Farm Bill, the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels authorizes payments to eligible producers to expand production of advanced biofuels."
- "Eligible examples include biofuels derived from cellulose, crop residue, animal, food and yard waste material, biogas (landfill and sewage waste treatment gas), vegetable oil and animal fat."
- "The producer payments are intended to provide a financial incentive to biorefineries – a necessary step towards meeting the nation’s renewable energy needs."
- IEA Bioenergy Releases Report on Bioenergy and Land Use Change, January 2011 by International Institute for Sustainable Development: "International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Bioenergy Task has published a report for policy makers titled 'Bioenergy, Land Use Change and Climate Change Mitigation,' which addresses how the climate change mitigation from the use of bioenergy can be influenced by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from land-use change."
- "It discusses ways to avoid the need to include land use within emissions calculations by using of post-consumer organic residues and by-products from the agricultural and forest industries as bioenergy feedstock."
- "The report further provides that the use of second generation technologies, as well as marginal or degraded lands, can mitigate climate-related effects of land use change."
- To read the report, go to Bioenergy, Land Use Change and Climate Change Mitigation
- Common roadside plant could become new source of biofuel, 5 November 2010 by Sify.com: "Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, have found that field pennycress yields impressive quantities of seeds whose oil could be used in biodiesel production."
- "Field pennycress belongs to the Brassicaceae family, along with canola, camelina and mustard-other prolific producers of oil-rich seeds. The ARS studies help support USDA's efforts to develop new sources of bioenergy."
- "Pennycress can be grown during the winter and harvested in late spring, so farmers who cultivate pennycress can also maintain their usual summer soybean production without reducing crop yields."
- Tobacco shows potential as biofuel crop, 19 April 2010 by David Kuack: "Scientists in the Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories at Thomas Jefferson Univ. in Philadelphia have been investigating alternative means of producing biofuels, as inexpensively, quickly and energy-efficiently as possible. They are conducting research to develop specially engineered strains of tobacco plants to generate a large amount of biomass from the plants’ leaves and stems."
- "The scientists believe the rapid growth of these tobacco strains can result in more efficient biofuel production than other traditional agricultural crops used for biofuel. Tobacco plants are naturally rich in sugars, starch and low-lignin cellulose that can be converted into ethanol, yielding up to 1,100 gallons of bio-ethanol per acre. "
- The Woody Biomass Program at SUNY-ESF - Research and news on willow biomass at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
- NewCROPTM - Website for the Center for New Crops & Plant Products at Purdue University
- B I O B I B - A Database for Biofuels - A database that provides calorific content and ash analysis for a wide range of feedstocks, including energy crops and biomass waste.
- Bioenergy Feedstock Information Network (BFIN) - "BFIN is a gateway to a wealth of biomass feedstock information resources from the U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and other research organizations."
- Assessing the Land Use Change Consequences of European Biofuel Policies by David Laborde of the International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI) for the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission, October 2011: This report follows up on the 2010 European Commission report “Global Trade and Environmental Impact Study of the EU Biofuels Mandate”.
- "This new study contains several important changes compared to the previous report. It uses an updated version of the global computable general equilibrium model (CGE), MIRAGE-Biof, as well as a revised scenario describing the EU mandate based on the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of the 27 member states. In addition, a stronger focus has been placed on specific feedstock Land Use Change (LUC) computation and the uncertainties surrounding these values. Systematic sensitivity analysis is used to measure the potential range of LUC coefficients." 
- Biofuels and Indirect Land Use Change – Challenges and Opportunities for Improved Assessment and Monitoring by Winrock International, March 2012. "This white paper published by Winrock International summarises the issues surrounding indirect land use change (iLUC) for biofuel feedstock production... The report focuses on data requirements and potential collection methods that could improve modeling efforts and identifies potential ways to improve the assessment, quantification and verification of iLUC." 
- The Net Global Effects of Alternative U.S. Biofuel Mandates: Fossil Fuel Displacement, Indirect Land Use Change, and the Role of Agricultural Productivity Growth by Aline Mosnier, Petr Havlík, Hugo Valin, Justin S. Baker, Brian C. Murray, Siyi Feng, Michael Obersteiner, Bruce A. McCarl, Steven K. Rose, and Uwe A. Schneider, January 2012. "One of the declared objectives of U.S. biofuel policy is the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel combustion, but many studies have questioned whether such a reduction would actually occur and, if so, how large it would be. This report describes the global market, land use, GHG emissions, and nitrogen use impacts of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and several alternative biofuel policy designs, which differ in terms of mandate magnitude and feedstock composition, over the 2010–2030 period."
- The dilemma of indirect land-use changes in EU biofuel policy – An empirical study of policy-making in the context of scientific uncertainty by Lorenzo Di Lucia, Serina Ahlgren, Karin Ericsson, 2011. "The potential impact of policies promoting transport biofuels on the use of land due to the indirect effects of feedstock cultivation has generated a controversy in the EU. Policy-makers are urged to regulate the matter without conclusive scientific evidence concerning the scale and severity of indirect land-use change (iLUC). By looking at this situation as an instance of policy making in the context of scientific uncertainty, this study analyses ways to deal with iLUC of biofuels policies learning from policy fields where similar dilemmas were confronted in the past. The experience with technologies such as genetically modified organisms, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power and radioactive waste, and transport biofuels is instructive for this purpose. Policy approaches identified in the case studies are applied to the case of iLUC."
- Measuring the Indirect Land-Use Change Associated With Increased Biofuel Feedstock Production (PDF) by USDA Economic Research Service and the Office of the Chief Economist, February 2011. "This report summarizes the current state of knowledge of the drivers of land-use change and describes the analytic methods used to estimate the impact of biofuel feedstock production on land use.The larger the impact of domestic biofuels feedstock production on commodity prices and the availability of exports, the larger the international land-use effects are likely to be. The amount of pressure placed on land internationally will depend in part on how much of the land needed for biofuel production is met through an expansion of agricultural land in the United States."
- A review of environmental issues in the context of biofuel sustainability frameworks by M.R. Guariguata, O.R. Masera, F.X. Johnson, G. von Maltitz, N. Bird, P. Tella, R. Martínez-Bravo, 2011. "This report examines how the most developed sustainability frameworks for feedstock production (including biofuels) address key environmental issues. It identifies critical gaps in these frameworks and proposes areas for improvement. The main finding is that the frameworks share broad sustainability principles yet they differ greatly in terms of their comprehensiveness and how they apply specific indicators for environmental issues, particularly with respect to land use change (both direct and indirect), allocation of degraded land for feedstock cultivation, and related accounting of greenhouse gas emissions."
- Small-scale Electricity Generation from Biomass (PDF File) by GIZ-HERA, 2011. "This paper attempts to assess the current state of local off-grid electricity generation based on plant oil for rural areas in developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia."
- Implications of Energy and Carbon Policies for the Agriculture and Forestry Sectors (PDF) By Burton C. English, Daniel G. De La Torre Ugarte, Chad Hellwinckel, Kimberly L. Jensen, R. Jamey Menard, Tristram O. West, and Christopher D. Clark, November 2010. "The 25x'25 Alliance asked the University of Tennessee’s Bio‐Based Energy Analysis Group (BEAG) to analyze how several proposed policy instruments might impact land use change, feedstock production, feedstock prices, and farm income, as well as carbon costs and payments for producers. Results in this report focus on agriculture and forestry sector analysis; providing potential impacts on agriculture and forestry as a result of the establishment of a [ US ] national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and the allowance of carbon capture and sequestration payments."
|Types of bioenergy||edit|
Gases: Biopropane | Biogas | Synthetic natural gas | Syngas
What is bioenergy? | Benefits/Risks | Who is doing what?