Bio energy : a two products philosophy : production of biomass for food and energy

C. Daey Ouwens, W. Rijssenbeek, Mara Wijnker

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    There exists already a considerable market for many biomass based products (food, coffee, cotton, wood, paper, energy (pellets), etc). This paper analyses the possibilities of partly solving several global problems like poverty in mainly rural areas and problems linked to the world energy supply by an increased use of biomass; this without jeopardizing the world food supply. Energy crops will influence the prices of the present market of crops. Prices of, for instance, coffee or cotton will increase. Higher prices create room for investment (e.g. fertilizer) and this way yields will go up and less land is needed. So the future market will be determined by two main products: energy crops and crops for other purposes. A choice has to be made: producing crops for energy or for other purposes. In this paper this is called a "two products philosophy". All farmers and agro-business companies will benefit from this development. However, this promise holds especially for Developing Countries; Brazil is a convincing example. Of course in practise the two products are often combined; both products will for instance be produced during the processing of biomass. These possibilities are elaborated in bio refinery concepts. The environment will also benefit from this development. There is a central role for governments and international organisations to guide this development in a sustainable way; a stimulating policy is needed. Otherwise, it will not lead to a socially sustainable development with poverty elevation. As examples of new energy products entering the market, two developments are described: the production of Fischer-Tropsch oil and bio oil from Jatropha. It is concluded that the evolving energy market creates a complete new, stimulating situation for the production of crops, both in Industrialized and Developing Countries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEindhoven
    PublisherFact Foundation
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Publication series

    NameFact Foundation Publications


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