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Energies 2009, 2(1), 48-56;

Microalgal and Terrestrial Transport Biofuels to Displace Fossil Fuels

Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Received: 19 November 2008 / Revised: 17 February 2009 / Accepted: 18 February 2009 / Published: 19 February 2009
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Terrestrial transport biofuels differ in their ability to replace fossil fuels. When both the conversion of solar energy into biomass and the life cycle inputs of fossil fuels are considered, ethanol from sugarcane and biodiesel from palm oil do relatively well, if compared with ethanol from corn, sugar beet or wheat and biodiesel from rapeseed. When terrestrial biofuels are to replace mineral oil-derived transport fuels, large areas of good agricultural land are needed: about 5x108 ha in the case of biofuels from sugarcane or oil palm, and at least 1.8-3.6x109 ha in the case of ethanol from wheat, corn or sugar beet, as produced in industrialized countries. Biofuels from microalgae which are commercially produced with current technologies do not appear to outperform terrestrial plants such as sugarcane in their ability to displace fossil fuels. Whether they will able to do so on a commercial scale in the future, is uncertain. View Full-Text
Keywords: Transport biofuel; terrestrial plants; microalgae; fossil fuels Transport biofuel; terrestrial plants; microalgae; fossil fuels
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Reijnders, L. Microalgal and Terrestrial Transport Biofuels to Displace Fossil Fuels. Energies 2009, 2, 48-56.

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