'Global production of biofuels increases'
In recent years global production of bio-fuels has increased dramatically, this phenomenon has been most marked in highly energy consuming regions such as the European Union and North America, and in primary producer regions such as Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012
This was stated by Speakers at a Seminar on "Current Progress towards the efficient Micro algal Bio-fuels" organised by Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences at New Senate Hall.
The seminar was chaired by UAF Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan Korean Scientist Jung In Han was the Guest of Honour, Dean Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Arshad (TI) presented welcome address.
Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that the future prospects for 2nd generation fuels such as bio-hydrogen and feed stocks such as lingo-cellulosic biomass should be examined by scientists keeping in view the broader aspects of bio-fuels and their long-term future in the context of global food production, population growth, fossil carbon substitution, and climate change. He maintained that Scientists should device bio-fuel cropping strategies by utilising un-cultivated, barren and desert soil resources otherwise food security for the future generations could not be occurred.
Jung In Han said that United States has planned to replace 75 percent of its imported fuel (>9.2 billion tones by bio-fuel up to 2025, and that total gasoline use would be reduced by 20 percent (4.1 billion tones) by 2017. He added that the fuel shortfall would be replaced by renewable, especially bio-fuels. However, even using the best bio-fuel crops, generation of this 4-9 billion tones oil equivalent (TOE) would require over a billion hectares, or 5-6 times the US total arable land area. He was of the view that over recent years, US policymakers have favoured bio-fuel production by granting subsidies to farmers and processors and by greatly increasing public and private investment in R&D, especially relating to lingo-cellulosic biomass.
He said that another major global trading bloc, the European Union, has set a minimum 10 percent obligation for transport bio-fuel use in the EU27 nations by 2020 In addition to increased imports, especially of palm biodiesel, this obligation will require the use of large amounts of current domestic oilseed production, as well as about 60 million tones (MT) of cereals for bio-ethanol production.
Dr. Muhammad Arshad said that Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences is working on cultivation of Bio-fuel Plants on Sewerage Water and results of this research outcome would be translated into business with the collaboration of industrial sector.
He added that conversion of plant carbohydrate to ethanol requires relatively complex and highly energy consuming fermentation; distillation and dehydration processes and ethanol fuels are less efficient in engines than either diesel or gasoline. He urged the scientists to find solution for the realistic options for generating this quantity of bio-fuels Current bio-ethanol fuels which are most commonly (and most efficiently) obtained from starch- or sugar-rich carbohydrate crops such as sugar cane or maize, "although they can also be derived from other renewable sources such as some grasses and fibrous plants," he added.