Energy from Food: New Research and Potential
Thursday, 31 December 2009
Food helps define societies and brings people together. As we enter the second decade of the new millennium, this will becoming increasingly true as population increases and new energy demands put added emphasis on global food supplies. Food can be used to generate electricity. Many Americans know that corn is a vital ingredient to many current ethanol blends, but did you know that many different foods can be used to generate ethanol? Scientists are exploring the energy capacity of potatoes, yams, and onions (among other foods). The goal of all this scientific tinkering is to find a biofuel that can provide more energy per unit of input than corn cost effectively. There is also the increasing use of food byproducts or waste for energy. Carbonfund.org, for example, supports the Chino Basin Dairy Farm Biodigester in California to reduce methane emissions, which are more potent than CO2 emissions, and lessen the impact of global climate change. Combating climate change will require innovative solutions such as this. You can learn more about waste-to-energy and methane reduction projects here.