The science is very attractive and interesting. I believe it's part of the "we should do everything
" plan ( drilling + conservation + alternatives ) to ease the pain of impending oil shock. Peak Oil: Life After the Oil Crash - page 1 Peak Oil: Life After the Oil Crash - page 2
If we wanted to replace even a small part of our oil supply with farm grown biofuels, we would need to turn most of Africa into a giant biofuel farm, an idea that is currently gaining traction in some circles. Obviously many Africans - who are already starving - would not take kindly to us appropriating the land they use to grow their food to grow our fuel. As journalist George Monbiot points out, such an endeavor would be a humanitarian disaster. |
Some folks are doing research into alternatives to soybeans such as biodiesel producing pools of algae. As with every other project that promises to "replace all petroleum fuels," this project has yet to produce a single drop of commercially available fuel. This hasn't prevented many of its most vocal proponents from insisting that algae grown biodiesel will solve our energy problems. The same is true for other, equally ambitious plans such as using recycled farm waste, switchgrass, etc. These projects all look great on paper or in the laboratory. Some of them may even end up providing a small amount of commercially available energy at some undetermined point in the future. However, in the context of our colossal demand for petroleum and the small amount of time we have remaining before the peak, these projects can't be expected to be more than a "drop in the bucket."
See also: Biodiesel from Algae Not Viable Until Oil is $800/Barrel