Feeds

Most biofuels fail green test: study

Swiss research pours cold water on eco claims

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A Swiss study has reconfirmed a common criticism of the use of biofuels as a replacement for fossil fuels: often, the “green” alternative merely replaces one set of environmental problems with another.

The study, by Switzerland’s EMPA – the Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology – confirms results the organization presented in 2007: while most biofuels can claim to produce fewer greenhouse gases, the cost is “more growth-related pollution for land used for agriculture.”

These agricultural effects include soil acidification and waterway pollution from fertiliser runoff.

The new study – available here in French – takes into account the fuels and the production chains, and the agency says it uses a more extensive dataset than the previous assessment.

While ethanol-based biofuels can have a better “ecobalance” than petrol, it’s highly dependent on the production methods used, particularly if the production of biofuels involves changing land use. For example, if farmland is switched to biofuel production, the report finds, assessment of its ecological impacts needs to take the likely deforestation needed to create new agricultural areas.

With the right inputs, the study found, ethanol-based biofuels have a better ecological performance than those drawn from plant oils. Processes in which ethanol production uses agricultural waste as the feedstock – so long as that doesn’t involve using wastes that would otherwise have broken down in situ and replenished soil fertility. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.