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Biofuels

  • By: Nicholas H. Johnson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

A biofuel is a solid, liquid, or gaseous fuel made from crops or trees and their residues, human and animal wastes, and algae. In many parts of the world, biofuels are the primary or only source of fuel. Concerns about global climate change, high oil and gas prices, and energy security have increased interest in biofuels over the past decade. Consequently, key questions have been raised regarding biofuels utilization:

  • To what extent are biofuels economical? Because the market for biofuels is still emerging, and long-term oil prices are unknown, it is difficult to calculate the true cost of biofuels. Further complicating the situation is the wide mix of subsidies and taxes for both biofuels and petroleum products.
  • What are the impacts of biofuels on food prices? While ...
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