Issues Magazine

Issues Magazine 85

An overview of what's in this edition of Issues.
As the world glimpses the bottom of the (oil) barrel, Barry Brook ponders alternative fuels.
Ian Lowe examines the birth of the biofuels imperative and how biofuels fit into a sustainable future.
How are biofuels produced from biomass, and can we produce enough for our energy needs?
Lindsay Falvey discusses the concepts of equity and morality in relation to food technologies such as biofuels.
Andrea Wild discusses competition between biofuels and alternative markets in the Australian context.
Second-generation biofuels are a real prospect for Australia, according to a new report.
In recent years, governments of numerous countries have promoted industrial-scale production and use of liquid biofuels and backed that commitment with financial support. What form is such support taking in Australia, and is it cost-effective?
It is long-established that car exhaust fumes cause respiratory disease, and more recently the particulate matter in diesel exhaust has been implicated in the death of human airway cells. However, new research reveals that biodiesel is a safer alternative.
Biofuels have been pegged as the great hope for sustainable and “green” fuel. Policy-makers set targets for the replacement of fuel sold in petrol stations with biofuels. Recently, however, biofuels have received an onslaught of negative media publicity.
Tony Vancov reports on an alliance formed in NSW to investigate the establishment of a biofuels industry using novel feedstocks.
South Australian researchers have adopted a business approach to biofuels. Their model presents microalgae as a promising second-generation biofuel feedstock for biodiesel production, not least because of its additional high-value bioproducts.
Catalysts and supercritical fluids can be key players in biofuel technology and in green chemistry.
As the environmental and supply problems of fossil fuels loom, chemical reactions harnessed by nature are inspiring efforts to derive energy by emulating photosynthesis.
With Australia trying to meet renewable energy targets and reduce emissions wherever possible, we should be considering bioenergy.