News: One tank of biofuel could feed one person for one year.

To fuel our discussion about "The Global Food Crisis- A Perfect Storm", here is an interesting article about the efficiency of biofuel. Or rather the lack thereof:

Corn is being diverted from human consumption, kicking off a domino effect of problems tied to food prices. It starts with ethanol produced from corn, which optimists hope will help solve the U.S. reliance on foreign oil, as well as provide a fuel that burns cleaner. "The U.S. is now using more corn for the production of ethanol than the entire [food] crop in Canada".

And it is going to get bigger. In 2000, world production of ethanol totalled 20 billion litres. In 2007, world production climbed to 60 billion litres. In the month of January 2008 alone, six billion new litres of ethanol were produced in the United States. Scores of ethanol plants are under construction and as a result, it is predicted that the United States will produce 52 billion litres of the fuel in 2008.

When all the plants are running, the United States could produce twice as much corn for ethanol as Canada's total crop production -- wheat, barley, canola, everything. This has huge implications for global food supplies. The amount of corn it takes to produce 75 litres of ethanol -roughly a tank of fuel- is enough corn to feed one person on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet for a year.

Update April 26: Check out this interesting article about the dilemma of biofuel versus food production.

Source: through The Road Daily. Picture courtesy Mark Steil/MPR


Anonymous,  07 March, 2008 02:55  

Seriously, corn? Wow.

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