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 Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>