5 Ideas for Biofuels That Will Change the Energy Conversation

Some Girl Scouts say palm oil in their cookies are leading to deforestation. Cookies, schmookies, the real question is: should we could we put palm oil in our gas tanks? What about algae-based oil? Or the old standby, corn?

Planet Forward brings you 5 ideas from our members who think they’ve found a new way to start our engines.

Biofuels: Beyond Ethanol – KQED QUEST
In some states, ethanol accounts for 10 percent of energy supplies. This biofuel, derived from corn kernels, is joining gasoline at the pumps, but is also taking food off the table and raising prices for corn-based products.

The Power of Trash: Turning Waste into Biofuel
Does that pile of papers on your desk look like a dump? You’re in luck. One kilogram (about two pounds) of paper waste can power seven 100-watt lightbulbs for one hour each.

Invest in Algae and Butanol Energy Research
Pond scum. Gross, right? Turns out scientists can convert that icky algae into a robust fuel, called butanol.

Could Palm Oil Biofuels Work?
Forests are a hot-button issue in Brazil now that fruit has become a potential energy source. How? You put the palm in the cask and then you shake it all up.

Advancing Sustainable Enterprise in China: Biomass Energy
Proliferation of coal power made China the world’s arch-villain of CO2 emissions. Can corn stalks and peanut skins save the day?