Frequently Asked Questions - General
Q: Why is bio-fuel technology so important?
A: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its November 2007: Synthesis report concluded that of our atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHG), a total atmospheric CO2-equivalent concentration emission has been estimated at 455 parts per million (ppm) in 2005. At our current rate of CO2 emission we have exceeded levels as to which are considered safe by climate scientists 10 years earlier than predicted. Without drastic reforms to the way we use energy severe climate change events are predicted at higher CO2 levels.
Q: How will increased CO2 affect our planet?
A: As the levels of CO2 increase and change the Earth’s climate dynamics, devastating effects have been predicted as figures approach 550 ppm:
- Increased global temperatures lead to melting glaciers, ice sheets, flash floods, drought, heat waves, wildfires, etc.
- Reduction of agricultural productivity, drought conditions and seasonal changes.
- Decreased water resource and availability.
- Large, fast and extreme changes may lead to vegetation stress and the possible collapse of ecologically sensitive environments such as the the Amazon rainforest – rapid plant loss and desertification may occur.
- Increased threat of species extinction 20-30% (IPCC).
Concerns about Bio-fuels
Q: What is the importance of reducing arable land and water use?
A: Currently, biofuels such as biodiesel and bioethanol derived from terrestrial crops aid in the supplementing of petroleum supplies worldwide. The allocation of the world’s limited arable land (13%) to biofuels is not only un-sustainable but also inefficient – this creates unwanted competition and pressure on food crops causing food shortages and driving price increases.
Low cost, effective, high yield producing photosynthetic organisms are able to be produced in both sealed algal bioreactors and open raceway ponds on non-arable land.