Thursday, October 02, 2008

New Canadian biofuel technology 570% more efficient than corn ethanol in reducing greenhouse gases

For Immediate Release

(Montreal, QC) -A study by Canadian and Dutch scientists just released in a book by Springer Publishers found that commercial second-generation solid biofuel technology has set a new Canadian benchmark in greenhouse gas (GHG) displacement. The solid biofuel technology using biomass from energy crops for heat energy developed by REAP-Canada reduces GHG’s by 7,600-13,100 kg CO2e /ha. By comparison soybean biodiesel and corn ethanol were found to reduce GHG’s by 900 and 1,500 kg CO2e/ha respectively.

“Solid biofuels produced from 2nd generation energy crops, such as switchgrass, effectively blow away liquid biofuels like corn ethanol as a serious greenhouse gas mitigation option” explained Roger Samson, Executive Director of REAP-Canada and lead author of the study.

REAP-Canada is calling on the federal and provincial governments to work jointly to implement a national solid biofuels GHG mitigation strategy. “Solid biofuels are 570% more efficient than liquid fuels in using farmland to mitigate GHG’s yet there are no subsidies in Canada for such technologies. In the race to reduce GHG’s, solid biofuels are the winning horse while liquid biofuels are a donkey” stated Samson.

The study also offers several recommendations on how energy from solid biofuels can be developed efficiently and equitably across Canada.

The full reference for the article is: Samson R., C. Ho Lem, S. Bailey-Stamler, and J. Dooper. 2008. Chapter 16 “Developing Energy Crops for Thermal Applications: Optimizing Fuel Quality, Energy Security and GHG Mitigation.” 52pp. In D. Pimentel (ed.) Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy Systems: Benefits and Risks. Springer Science, Berlin, Germany.

This book is available from Springer Publishers or online at

For more information:
Roger Samson (
Box 125, Centennial Centre CCB13,
Ste Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, H9X 3V9
Tel. (514) 398-7743;

Resource Efficient Agricultural Production (REAP)-Canada is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on sustainable biofuel systems development. A world leader in developing bioenergy for greenhouse gas mitigation and rural development, REAP-Canada provides services in bioenergy research, policy and market development. The agency has 17 years of experience in energy crop development, biomass resource assessments and bioenergy conversion technologies in industrialized and developing nations.


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