Issues 85, December 2008


Beyond Peak Oil: Will Black Gold Turn Green?
Barry Brook, University of Adelaide
As the world glimpses the bottom of the (oil) barrel, Barry Brook ponders alternative fuels.

Biofuels in a Clean, Green Future
Ian Lowe, Emeritus Professor of Science, Technology and Society, Griffith University; President, Australian Conservation Foundation
Ian Lowe examines the birth of the biofuels imperative and how biofuels fit into a sustainable future.

First- and Second-Generation Biofuel Technologies
Stephen Schuck, Bioenergy Australia
How are biofuels produced from biomass, and can we produce enough for our energy needs?

Biofuels or Food? Equity and Morality in Food and Technology
Lindsay Falvey Institute of Land and Food Resources, University of Melbourne
Lindsay Falvey discusses the concepts of equity and morality in relation to food technologies such as biofuels.

Biofuels and Competition in Australia
Andrea Wild, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
Andrea Wild discusses competition between biofuels and alternative markets in the Australian context.

Biofuels: At What Cost?
Derek Quirke, Tara Laan and Bob Warner for the Global Subsidies Initiative, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Geneva, Switzerland
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?

Biodiesel Breathes Better
Leigh Ackland, Linda Zou and David Freestone, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Deakin University
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.

The Case for Second-Generation Biofuels
Glenn Tong, Chief Executive Officer, Molecular Plant Breeding Cooperative Research Centre
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.

Converting Biomass to Ethanol Fuel
Tony Vancov, NSW Department of Primary Industries
Tony Vancov reports on an alliance formed in NSW to investigate the establishment of a biofuels industry using novel feedstocks.

Biodiesel from Microalgae
Kriston Bott and Sasi Nayar, South Australian Research and Development Institute
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.

Biofuels Get Moving with Catalysis
Rebecca Lesic and Thomas Maschmeyer, University of Sydney
Catalysts and supercritical fluids can be key players in biofuel technology and in green chemistry.

Back to Nature: Making Molecular Biofuels
Warwick Hillier. Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University
As the environmental and supply problems of fossil fuels loom, chemical reactions harnessed by nature are inspiring efforts to derive energy by emulating photosynthesis.

Issues: Published by Control Publications, publishers of Australasian Science.
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