facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Global biofuel land area estimated

Jan. 10, 2011 at 7:51 PM   |   Comments

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say biofuel crops grown on available land could meet half of the world's current fuel consumption without affecting food crops or pastureland.

University of Illinois researchers, using detailed land analysis, identified land around the globe available to produce grass crops for biofuels with minimal impact on agriculture or the environment, a UI release said Monday.

"The questions we're trying to address are, what kind of land could be used for biofuel crops?" environmental engineering Professor Ximing Cai said.

"If we have land, where is it and what is the current land cover?

The Illinois study focused on marginal land for biofuel crops. Marginal land refers to land with low inherent productivity, that has been abandoned or degraded, or is of low quality for agricultural uses.

In their computer modeling, the researchers ruled out current crop land, pasture land, and forests.

They also assumed biofuel crops would be watered by rainfall and not irrigation, so no water would have to be diverted from agricultural land.

Researchers said an estimated land area of 2.7 million acres was available globally, an area that would produce 26 to 56 percent of the world's current liquid fuel consumption.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Climate change, sea level rise threaten national monuments Climate change, sea level rise threaten national monuments
2
Martian meteorite proof that Mars could host life Martian meteorite proof that Mars could host life
3
Say goodbye to Chinese sturgeon Say goodbye to Chinese sturgeon
4
Study: Chimps are natural born killers Study: Chimps are natural born killers
5
Audi gets permit to test self-driving cars in California Audi gets permit to test self-driving cars in California
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback