1000 entries and what have we learned?

Put out the flags. I’ve reached the 1000 post mark. I started this in October 2006 with an open if sceptical mind. Its been a lot of fun so far. I’ve met a whole bunch of people who have commented on what I’ve written and offered suggestions and I’d like to thank you for that. I’ve also come to some conclusions about biofuels in my first 1000 posts on this topic. So here’s my take on the state of the biofuel industry at the moment.

That there’s a lot of misinformation.

That there’s real potential for biofuels to make a difference, at least locally, in the developing world and building bridges between the world’s rich and poor nations.

That there is a lot of waste that could be converted in to fuel, if we can persuade society to do it.  The Ineos story, is a good example of what might be possible.

That there is not enough edible oil in the world to keep America on the road for more than three months (and there’d be no fried food).

That you can only use old cooking oil for biodiesel economically as a home brewer if there’s no serious competition for it.

That America needs to improve the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet more quickly than it is probably capable of doing.

That second generation biofuels are an excellent idea in principle, but are still some way off.

That the price of food is almost certainly linked to the availability of raw materials, but global trade in food muddies the water.

That once people become accustomed to subsidies its hard to wean them off.

That farmers are one of the biggest and toughest lobbies in the world (see the last point).

That weeds are potentially biofuel crops (Jatropha, Pongamia ).

That sweet sorghum is underrated as a potential biofuel.

That algae could be used to sequester the carbon dioxide from power generation plants ( so could clever chemical catalysts).

That Corn is good on the cob and Gallagher is largely right

Right, I’d better get on with the next one…

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5 Responses to 1000 entries and what have we learned?

  1. David B. Benson 24 July, 2008 at 11:57 pm #

    Congradulations on the 1000 mark.

    Somewhat to my surprise, I largely agree with all your observations!

  2. Biofuelsimon 28 July, 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    You’re very kind. Thanks

  3. Nadim 31 July, 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    Excellent summary statement Simon. I’ve just written a post on biofuels from a moral/ developmental standpoint and it’s nice to see a lot of correlation in our conclusions:


  4. Simon Robinson 1 August, 2008 at 3:32 pm #

    Hi Nadim, Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you find there is some correlation between the two. Simon

  5. rob 5 August, 2008 at 10:42 am #

    That there is not enough edible oil in the world to keep America on the road for more than three months (and there’d be no fried food).

    This would also help solve the obesity problem: see this page for a scary map.

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