HomeResourcesConference PapersBiofuels: Get the balance right

Biofuels: Get the balance right

Conference: African Utility Week
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Presenter: Jhill Johns
Abstract: Presented by Jhill Johns at African Utility Week

The ongoing debate of food vs fuel will not dissipate, especially in Africa, until an alternative feedstock that does not pose a potential food crisis, is found. Getting the balance right for bio-fuels is very much dependent on the country in which it is being produced. For Europe the right balance is driven mainly by environmental concerns, whereas in Africa, the driving force is the need for rural development, but also ensuring that food supplies or land suitable for food crops is not threatened. Second generation crops such as algae, could be a solution for Africa. There has been a renewed interest in algal biodiesel technologies, and they are capable of yields that are greater than that of Jatropha, sunflower or canola. Also, algae does not compete with food crops for prime agricultural land, grows in saline water, which is inadequate for agriculture.

The objective of the research is to give an up to date overview about the current status of second generation biofuel technologies. This is done on a review of existing algae biodiesel technologies.