Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Re-Thinking Biofuels

PostedApril 1, 2007

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins:  Does Earth have enough fertile land to meet the world’s appetite for food and fuel?

David Tilman:  As we take more and more land and put it into crop land for biofuels, as well as for food, we’re going to be destroying some of the remaining natural habitats around the world.

Randy Atkins:  David Tilman, a University of Minnesota ecologist, thinks farming processes may use too much energy and make too much pollution to make it worthwhile.  But he says some mixtures of wild plants could thrive on degraded land, efficiently remove carbon dioxide from the air, and, using existing technologies, produce high-quality fuel.

David Tilman:  When you’re done making it and burning it to power your car, there’s actually less greenhouse gas in the atmosphere than there had been beforehand.

Randy Atkins:  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.