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Agriculture 2017, 7(4), 32; doi:10.3390/agriculture7040032

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

1
Department of Technology and Society, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA
2
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
3
Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, and Materials Science and Chemical Engineering Department, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA
4
Faculdade Anhanguera-Pitágoras, Votorantim, São Paulo 18110-008, Brasil
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Sustainability of Bioenergy Systems)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofuels; ethanol; biodiesel; cellulosic; biobutanol; renewable fuel; splash and dash biofuels; ethanol; biodiesel; cellulosic; biobutanol; renewable fuel; splash and dash
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Araújo, K.; Mahajan, D.; Kerr, R.; Silva, M. Global Biofuels at the Crossroads: An Overview of Technical, Policy, and Investment Complexities in the Sustainability of Biofuel Development. Agriculture 2017, 7, 32.

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