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Biodiesel for the 21st Century Renewable Energy Economy

from FELJ

What role will biodiesel play in our nation’s energy future? The Spring issue of the Energy Law Journal presents an in-depth look at the use of this renewable liquid fuel. In his article, "Biodiesel for the 21st Century Renewable Energy Economy," John J. Perona, a Professor at Portland State University, discusses how liquid fuels from renewable biomass (e.g., corn and soybean-derived biofuels) can make an important contribution to decreasing the use of fossil petroleum. Achieving this goal, according to Professor Perona, requires confronting many challenges, including the environmental impacts of harvesting or cultivating the biomass resource, the supply of water and energy to expanded biomass industries, development and scale-up of industrial processes for extracting and refining market-ready biofuel at competitive costs, and administrative and political hurdles.

Professor Perona suggests that while none of the current sources of commercial biofuel production in the U.S. is capable of substantially replacing fossil petroleum, state and federal programs should continue to play an important role in accelerating development of renewable biodiesel industries, including from new, pre-commercial sources such as photosynthetic microalgae. Specific attention to producing biodiesel from algae, according to Professor Perona, is warranted because of the potential to interface this technology with both carbon dioxide capture and wastewater treatment, allowing “algaculture” to play a key role in long-term environmental sustainability in the U.S.

Since 1980, the Energy Law Journal has provided great value to the Energy Bar Association's members. The Journal provides in-depth analyses on current, salient issues affecting members and their clients and businesses and provides a forum for the exploration and understanding of new, cutting edge issues. The Journal is a benefit to EBA members and subscriptions are available to non-EBA members. Click here to read all the articles from the current Energy Law Journal. more

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