Can the Earth Deliver the Biomass-for-Fuel We Demand?
byTadeusz W. Patzek
Patzek, T. W., “Can the Earth Deliver the Biomass-for-Fuel We Demand?” Chapter 2 in Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy Systems – Benefits and Risks, D. Pimentel, Editor, Springer Verlag, Berlin, 2008
In this work I outline the rational, science-based arguments that question current wisdom of replacing fossil plant fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) with fresh plant agrofuels. This 1:1 replacement is absolutely impossible for more than a few years, because of the ways the planet Earth works and maintains life. After these few years, the denuded Earth will be a different planet, hostile to human life. I argue that with the current set of objective constraints a continuous stable solution to human life cannot exist in the near-future, unless we all rapidly implement much more limited ways of using the Earth’s resources, while reducing the global populations of cars, trucks, livestock and, eventually, also humans.
AgricultureAgrofuelBiomassBiorefineryBoundaryCropEcologyEnergyEthanolFuel ProductionModel Mass BalanceNet EnergyValuePlantationPopulationSustainabilityThermodynamicsTropicsYield