MADISON, Wis., Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A U.S. study suggested that Thailand, Uruguay and Ghana might become the world's leading producers of the emerging renewable fuel known as biodiesel.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies said biodiesel can be easily manufactured from vegetable oils and animal fats, making it one of the most promising, near-term alternatives to fossil fuels.
Researchers Matt Johnston and Tracey Holloway ranked nations according to potential to make large volumes of biodiesel at low cost. The analysisidentified United States, Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Spain as among the top 10 in overall volume potential.
But the researchers said the study's main objective was to identify developing countries that already export significant amounts of vegetable oil for profit but might not have considered refining it into biodiesel.
Overall, the study ranked Malaysia, Thailand, Colombia, Uruguay and Ghana as the developing nations most likely to attract biodiesel investment.
The full analysis is reported online in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.