Eco + point

Why is it bioethanol fuel ecological?

Bioethanol is environmentally friendly because the CO2 released during combustion is compensated by the CO2 absorbed during the lifetime of the plant it comes from.

Result: burning bioethanol does not increase the greenhouse effect on the planet because the carbon balance is neutral.

It’s not the case with oil, natural gas or heating oil because they are fossil fuels, which have been, formed millions years ago. When they burn, they increase the amoun
t of CO2 in the atmosphere and thus the overall greenhouse effect because there is no compensation.

That is why bioethanol makes all the difference with fossil fuels.

About the controversy on bioethanol

The debate on agrofuels (to which bioethanol belongs to) has recently taken a tragic turn in the current context of rising agricultural prices and hunger riots.

Arguments against bioethanol:

Extracted from plants like sugar cane, beet and corn, bioethanol is alleged to compete with food crops. The strong growth of its demand would have the effect of raising grain prices, which become inaccessible to the poor. This is the case in Mexico with the sharp rise in the price of cornmeal. In addition, small farmers would have little access to this new market, reserved for large farms.

Arguments in favour of bioethanol:

Brazilian President Lula recently said: "Biofuels are not the villains that threaten food security: on the contrary, they allow to be released from energetic dependence without jeopardizing food." Lula argues that the cultivation of sugar cane for bioethanol, which his country is the world's biggest exporter, does not occupy space taken on the cultivation of cereals and it allows a part of the Brazilians to overcome poverty

Our opinion:

In the short term, in certain regions of the globe, the new bioethanol market can may create imbalances and contribute to higher grain prices. But in the medium term, this market will imply a true creation of value that may benefit farmers of producer countries.

Last year, the global production of biofuels was only 100 million tonnes of grain on a total production of over 2 billion tons, representing a small 2%. Therefore, we can not make this amount responsible for higher prices, mainly from the introduction of meat in the diet of emerging economies such as China. Indeed, livestock requires large quantities of cereals.

The real upheaval we are seeing is that everywhere in the world, agricultural products have a higher value and that is a novelty. It is reasonable to believe that farming populations will benefit from this trend.