Alternative Energy Crops for Agricultural Machinery Biofuels-Focus on Biodiesel

Gustavo Best
2006 Agricultural Engineering International: the CIGR Ejournal. Invited Overview No. 13   unpublished
This century could see a significant switch from a fossil fuel to a bioenergy-based economy, with agriculture and forestry as the leading sources of biomass for biofuels such as fuelwood, charcoal, wood pellets, bioethanol, biodiesel and bioelectricity. Liquid biofuels in general, and biodiesel, in particular, have gained importance in the last years in more than 21 countries leading to commercial projects in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Sweden and
more » ... ragua, Sweden and the USA. The most common end use is the transport sector, including agricultural machinery. At the same time, the role of agriculture as a source of energy resources is gaining in importance. Scenarios developed for the USA and the EU indicate that short-term targets of up to a 13 percent displacement of petroleum-based fuels with liquid biofuels (bioethanol and biodiesel) appear feasible on available cropland. More ambitious targets will have to be fulfilled with imports. As a carbon-neutral source of energy, biofuels can also contribute to climate change mitigation through substituting fossil fuels, when sustainably produced.