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 Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

nachricht 100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?
15.06.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

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: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Creating a new composite fuel for new-generation fast reactors

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Game-changing finding pushes 3D-printing to the molecular limit

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>