Biofuel facts

Biofuel facts

An oil worker operates a fuel tank at a bio-diesel factory, Lima, Peru

*Biofuel is made with ethanol which is produced by fermenting and then distilling starch and sugar crops such as maize, sorghum, potatoes, cassava, wheat, sugar cane and even fruit and vegetable waste.

*Biodiesel is made from plant oils such as rapeseed and palm oil but only makes up about 5% of biofuels used.

*World biofuel production totals about 130 million barrels a year.

*This is just 4/10ths of 1% of the total petroleum-based fuel production.

*Africa's ethanol production makes up only 1% of the total global output.

*Biofuel is a renewable energy source, but concerns have been raised because the crops needed to make it might otherwise be used for food.

*Plans by the South African company Ethanol Africa to build a string of eight maize-fed ethanol plants at a cost of about one billion dollars have been put on hold because of the current global food crisis.

*Several other African countries have biofuel research projects underway, including Nigeria, which wants to use cassava, and Mozambique, which hopes to exploit sorghum and sugarcane.

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