Articles on Biofuels

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Soybeans and corn are two of the most widely planted crops in the United States and the main feedstocks used to make biofuels. www.shutterstock.com

Biofuels turn out to be a climate mistake – here’s why

A new study challenges the longstanding view that biofuels are carbon-neutral, and asserts that in the U.S. to date, they have done more harm to the climate than gasoline.
Ethanol made from corn goes into our gas tanks. Now refiners who pay for the subsidy are complaining of rising costs. armydre2008/flickr

Who should pay for our corn ethanol policy – Big Oil or gas stations?

A fight's breaking out over who should pay subsidies for corn ethanol, and it is consumers who may end up paying for any changes.
A White House proposal to tax crude oil would address the U.S.‘s perennially underfunded highway maintenance program. scottummy/flickr

How should America fund its highways in the 21st century?

Obama's proposal to add $10 tax to crude oil raises the thorny question of whether the U.S. can continue to fund its highway infrastructure with a fuel tax that hasn't changed since 1993.
Before there was E10, in the 1970s there was ‘gasohol,’ another name for gasoline that had been blended with ethanol. eklektikos/flickr

Corn ethanol: the rise and fall of a political force

Ted Cruz opposes subsidies for biofuels and still managed to win in ethanol-friendly Iowa. Is corn ethanol starting to lose its political clout?
An excavator clears land for a palm oil plantation in southern Sierra Leone for a Lichtenstein-based a company. Such projects are criticised by some as ‘land grabs’. Reuters/Simon Akam

How a project with good aims delivered bitter outcomes in Sierra Leone

International development banks are supposed to ensure adherence to human rights in the projects they fund. Instead, their practices provide fertile ground for human rights abuses.
An ancient form of energy: a wood pellet manufacturing facility in upstate New York. thewildcenter/flickr

Does bioenergy have a green energy future in the US?

The future of two key energy policies – the EPA's Clean Power Plan and Renewable Fuel Standard – will decide whether bioenergy will continue to grow in US or not.
Plants use photosynthesis to build molecules and energy they can use. By copying plants, humans can make cleaner fuels. Ranjit Bhatnagar/Flickr

To shift away from fossil fuels, we need to copy plants

Most of the energy that fuels our lives comes from plants. Whether it is a fossil fuel that was formed hundreds of millions of years ago or the food we eat, all carbon-borne energy has its ultimate origins…

Vibrations enhance spinach photosynthesis

Molecular vibrations play an important part in enhancing photosynthesis, researchers from the University of Michigan have…

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