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Posts tagged “palm oil”

By Russ Finley on Mar 25, 2012 with 1 response

Energy Sources Versus Nature

Welcome to the sixth extinction event.

This is a portrait of an axolotl. My youngest daughter has two of them. They are almost extinct in the wild. However, because they breed well in captivity and because they are valuable for research (they can regenerate entire lost appendages), there is a large captive population. Coincidentally, she also has a pet New Caledonia crested gecko, also on the verge of extinction in the wild, which also breeds well in captivity, and also has a large captive population.


By Robert Rapier on Jan 26, 2012 with 27 responses

R-Squared Energy TV: Episode 9 – Energy Tradeoffs with Palm Oil & Fracking

In this week’s episode of R-Squared Energy TV, I answer questions on palm oil and hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Some of the topics discussed are: The EPA decision to exclude palm oil from qualifying as renewable biomass under RFS2 The Chinese influence over the palm oil trade The issue of trade-offs in our energy choices Agendas in the fracking debate After I recorded the clip, I did some research on exactly how the EPA treats palm oil (I should have done it before recording the clip), and they say that “oil palm plantations would have to meet the criteria for existing agricultural land in order for their fruit and crop residue to qualify as renewable biomass under RFS2.” I am not… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 2, 2010 with 104 responses

The Palm Oil Conundrum

People sometimes ask which biofuels are competitive head to head with crude oil. By competitive, I mean those that can actually compete favorably with oil prices on a level playing field (i.e., they don’t require big subsidies or mandates in order to compete). There are two that always come to mind: Ethanol from sugarcane (although less competitive currently due to high sugar prices) and fuel from palm oil (oil derived from the fruits of the African Oil Palm). In fact, in the first book chapter I wrote in 2007 (Renewable Diesel in Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy Systems: Benefits and Risks) I highlighted palm oil as a crop with great promise, but also great environmental risk: By far… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 20, 2010 with 144 responses

Food Versus Fuel – Again

Upcoming I am off to Malaysia on Saturday for a business trip. I will actually spend some time in Bintulu, so I am looking forward to driving by and seeing Shell’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant there. I am unsure about my prospects for Internet access over the following week. When I was in India, I was without Internet for eight days, but I have been told that most likely I will have Internet for the duration of my stay. But this is a business trip, so I probably won’t have all that much time to write anyway. I do have three essays in the pipeline that I will trickle out while I am gone. The first is a guest essay from… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 14, 2009 with no responses

The Potential of Jatropha

The previous post provided an introduction to Jatropha curcas, a tropical, oil-producing shrub. In this essay I want to get into why I believe there is great potential for jatropha to make an impact on the world’s energy supply. I will also explain the hurdles that need to be overcome. Jatropha Curcas in India (Photo courtesy of Tree Oils India Limited.) The Potential Jatropha has many qualities that make it an attractive biofuel option. One, it is tolerant of dry conditions and marginal soils. This is a big plus, because it opens up areas for cultivation that would otherwise be unsuitable. The type of land with great potential is land that is being degraded, or turned into desert. Desertification is… Continue»