Bioenergy: Biofuel production on the margins
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Butterbach-Bahl K. and R. Kiese. 2013. Bioenergy: Biofuel production on the margins. Nature 493: 483-485
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/33972
Productive agricultural land that could otherwise be used to produce much-needed food crops is being diverted towards grain-based ethanol production in both Europe and the United States, partly in response to government legislation. An alternative is to grow cellulosic crops on so-called marginal lands. An evaluation of the potential of marginal lands in the Midwestern United States to produce biofuel while mitigating direct greenhouse gas emissions now finds that they have the capacity to produce a significant amount of biofuel energy without the initial carbon debt and indirect land-use costs associated with food-based biofuels.