The (environmental) price of FAME

Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), or biodiesel as it is more commonly known, is a diesel substitute produced by reacting methanol with vegetable oil, and is the second most widely used bio-additive in America fuels (behind ethanol added to gasoline). As shown in Figure 1, U.S. biodiesel consumption has increased more than a hundredfold since […]

Comparing GTAP ILUC results to observations of ethanol related land use change

For over ten years, indirect land use change modeling has been an important part of assessing the environmental impact of U.S. biofuel policy. While several models have been developed to undertake these assessments, notably the FAPRI-FASOM model used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in determining the lifecycle emissions of fuels supported by the Renewable […]

Accentuating the positive – has optimism bias driven reductions in ILUC estimates?

Indirect land use change, often abbreviated to ILUC, refers to the expected expansion of agricultural area (and subsequent release of carbon from biomass and soils) when biofuel policies increase demand for agricultural commodities. In 2008, research led by Tim Searchinger using the FAPRI economic model[1] suggested that accounting for these ILUC emissions might eliminate the […]

Devilish details…

…you’ll never believe the regulatory mistakes the EU is at risk of making in the RED II* In a blog post just under a year ago I heralded the generally positive qualities of the European Commission’s proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directive for the period 2021-2030 (RED II). Since then, both the European Parliament […]

A leap forward for European advanced biofuel policy

Yesterday, the European Commission released its proposal for the renewable energy regime for Europe through to 2030. The proposal includes a framework for supporting and regulating the supply of alternative fuels, including biofuels, fuels produced from power-to-liquids technologies, and fuels produced from non-renewable waste streams, notably technologies such as Lanzatech’s carbon monoxide fermentation. As is […]