Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sugar as biofuel in the Philippines may not be as “sweet” as promised

01.04.2009
Sugarcane conversion into biofuel is cost-effective with petroleum fuel when oil prices are high; it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and diversifies energy sources. Ethanol production from sugarcane may look good at the outset but do these rewards true to its form?

In an article published in the Philippine Agricultural Scientist, UPLB economist Prof. U-Primo E. Rodriguez and Dr. Liborio Cabanilla, dean of the College of Economics and Management, noted that using sugarcane as source of energy may have adverse effects. Both examined the potential implications of using sugar as biofuel feedstock, particularly on the country’s agriculture and food security.

Sugar is an important commodity in the Philippines, a major input in food processing industries. In 2007, the Department of Agriculture reported that by 2001 about 8.5 M metric tons of sugarcane will be needed to fulfill the mandated blending of gasoline with 10% ethanol. This represents around 37% of the total sugarcane produced in the country in 2005.

Using a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model, the researchers found that there would be several implications to the agricultural and food processing sectors if sugar is to be used for biofuel production.

General implications

“Devoting sugarcane as biofuel feedstock would probably raise the average domestic prices of agricultural, fishery and forest products, which in turn will make production costs higher and therefore increase prices of food products in the market,” Prof. Rodriguez stated.

They estimated that while value added and employment will grow in the agriculture, fishery and forestry sector, it will be the opposite for the food processing sector.

All in all, this would affect people’s spending behavior. Consumption is projected to fall by 0.18%. Prof. Rodriguez also added that agricultural, fishery, forest and food products export will decline.

Specific impacts to the sugar industry

According to the research’s simulation, there are significant impacts which would greatly affect the sugar industry. First would be the increase of about 18.5% of sugar prices due to the stimulating demand for sugarcane. This would induce significant increases in the value added and employment in the sugar industry.

The big expansion of the sugar industry, however, will just be the only reason for the general expansion of the agriculture, fishery and forestry sector. Rodriguez explained that the expanding sugar industry will affect industries such as corn, livestock and poultry, probably due to the possible allocation of resources to sugar planting.

Simulation results indicate also that some economic activities such as sugar milling, petroleum refining and mining will contract.

More analysis needed

While the research results showed that sugar for biofuel will have adverse effects on the economy, Prof. Rodriguez recommended more in-depth studies should be pursued to get a better informed assessment. He further added that economists should also focus on the other dimensions of economic development and environmental impact.

“Although our CGE model have provided sound economic frameworks for analysis, a more rigorous economic evaluation of the food vs. fuel issue would definitely need other studies using complementary analytical and quantitative tools,” Prof. Rodriguez concluded.

For reference:

Prof. U-Primo E. Rodriguez
College of Economics and Management
University of the Philippines Los Baños
Telephone: 049 536 2505
Telefax: 536 3641
Email: uprime@gmail.com

Florante A. Cruz | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://rdenews.uplb.edu.ph
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>