Ronald Michalsky - Third generation biofuels and the food v. fuel debate: a systems perspective

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  Publication Details (including relevant citation   information):

  Bryon Parman,   Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Peter H. Pfromm, Ronald Michalsky: Third   generation biofuels and the food v. fuel debate: a systems   perspective, The International Journal of Environmental,   Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability 7   (2011) 2, p. 287-300.


  Biofuel from non-food non-agriculture feedstock, such as algae,   is now touted as a potential solution to many of the challenges   facing first- and second-generation biofuel production. This   paper seeks to determine the extent to which large-scale algae   feedstock production addresses the food v fuel debate. It   accomplishes this by expanding the boundaries of inquiry to   encompass the resource use-production system within a dynamic   framework. A theoretical system dynamic model is developed to   illustrate the effect of increasing third-generation biofuels   production on environmental and socio-economic sustainability.   The model suggests competition for fertilizer will begin to   influence food production costs, leading to potentially higher   food prices. An implication of this research is that   third-generation biofuels may not exhibit socio-economic   sustainability as long as their feedback effect on food   production is recognized. This paper lays down the foundation for   examining sustainability within a systems framework.

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