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Global Biofuels at the Crossroads: An Overview of Technical, Policy, and Investment Complexities in the Sustainability of Biofuel Development

Author

Listed:
  • Kathleen Araújo

    () (Department of Technology and Society, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA
    Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA)

  • Devinder Mahajan

    () (Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, and Materials Science and Chemical Engineering Department, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA)

  • Ryan Kerr

    () (Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, and Materials Science and Chemical Engineering Department, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA)

  • Marcelo da Silva

    () (Faculdade Anhanguera-Pitágoras, Votorantim, São Paulo 18110-008, Brasil)

Abstract

Biofuels have the potential to alter the transport and agricultural sectors of decarbonizing societies. Yet, the sustainability of these fuels has been questioned in recent years in connection with food versus fuel trade-offs, carbon accounting, and land use. Recognizing the complicated playing field for current decision-makers, we examine the technical attributes, policy, and global investment activity for biofuels (primarily liquids). Differences in feedstock and fuel types are considered, in addition to policy approaches of major producer countries. Issues with recent, policy-driven trade developments are highlighted to emphasize how systemic complexities associated with sustainability must also be managed. We conclude with near-term areas to watch.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathleen Araújo & Devinder Mahajan & Ryan Kerr & Marcelo da Silva, 2017. "Global Biofuels at the Crossroads: An Overview of Technical, Policy, and Investment Complexities in the Sustainability of Biofuel Development," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 1-22, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:7:y:2017:i:4:p:32-:d:94382
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paul B. Thompson, 2012. "The Agricultural Ethics of Biofuels: The Food vs. Fuel Debate," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 1-20, November.
    2. Kumar, G. & Bakonyi, P. & Periyasamy, S. & Kim, S.H. & Nemestóthy, N. & Bélafi-Bakó, K., 2015. "Lignocellulose biohydrogen: Practical challenges and recent progress," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 728-737.
    3. Gbadebo Oladosu & Siwa Msangi, 2013. "Biofuel-Food Market Interactions: A Review of Modeling Approaches and Findings," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(1), pages 1-19, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    biofuels; ethanol; biodiesel; cellulosic; biobutanol; renewable fuel; splash and dash;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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