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BioFuelNet Canada responds to biofuel study

September 21, 2016  By Cindy Macdonald

BioFuelNet Canada strongly disagrees with the findings of a recent study by Professor John DeCicco from the University of Michigan and colleagues which states that biofuels are worse than gasoline in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

According to a statement by BioFuelNet Canada: “In the controversial study, researchers DeCicco and colleagues claim that biofuels emit more CO2 than they absorb. However, BioFuelNet researcher Dr. Joann Whalen observes that the methodology used is inconsistent. When they calculate the CO2 emissions going into the atmosphere, they consider all parts of the plant: leaves, stalks, roots, grain etc. In return, when they calculate the uptake or storage of CO2 in the plant, they only consider the grain. Therefore there is an imbalance in the calculations, misleading the readers to think that biofuels are not carbon-neutral.”

The organization continues: “Accounting for the ‘missing carbon’ will go a long way to bring the findings of this study in line with the prevailing scientific opinion that those who plant and grow crops – namely the agriculture and forestry sectors – should get credit for the carbon gained from photosynthesis in all crop biomass, not just the portion that is harvested for biofuel.”


BioFuelNet Canada is a network that brings together the Canadian biofuels research community to aggressively address the challenges impeding the growth of an advanced biofuels industry, while focusing on non-food biomass as biofuel feedstocks.

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