Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is Garbage The Solution To Tackling Climate Change?

Date:
October 3, 2009
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
Converting the rubbish that fills the world's landfills into biofuel may be the answer to both the growing energy crisis and to tackling carbon emissions, claim scientists in Singapore and Switzerland. New research reveals how replacing gasoline with biofuel from processed waste could cut global carbon emissions by 80%.

Garbage dump. Waste-based biofuel could cut global emissions by over 80%.
Credit: iStockphoto/Ryerson Clark

Converting the rubbish that fills the world’s landfills into biofuel may be the answer to both the growing energy crisis and to tackling carbon emissions, claim scientists in Singapore and Switzerland. New research published in Global Change Biology: Bioenergy, reveals how replacing gasoline with biofuel from processed waste could cut global carbon emissions by 80%.

Biofuels produced from crops have proven controversial because they require an increase in crop production which has its own severe environmental costs. However, second-generation biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol derived from processed urban waste, may offer dramatic emissions savings without the environmental catch.

“Our results suggest that fuel from processed waste biomass, such as paper and cardboard, is a promising clean energy solution,” said study author Associate Professor Hugh Tan of the National University of Singapore. “If developed fully this biofuel could simultaneously meet part of the world’s energy needs, while also combating carbon emissions and fossil fuel dependency.”

The team used the United Nation’s Human Development Index to estimate the generation of waste in 173 countries. This data was then coupled to the Earthtrends database to estimate the amount of gasoline consumed in those same countries.

The team found that 82.93 billion litres of cellulosic ethanol could be produced from the world’s landfill waste and that by substituting gasoline with the resulting biofuel, global carbon emissions could be cut by figures ranging from 29.2% to 86.1% for every unit of energy produced.

“If this technology continues to improve and mature these numbers are certain to increase,” concluded co-author Dr. Lian Pin Koh from ETH Zόrich. “This could make cellulosic ethanol an important component of our renewable energy future.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shi et al. The biofuel potential of municipal solid waste. GCB Bioenergy, 2009; DOI: 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2009.01024.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Is Garbage The Solution To Tackling Climate Change?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929100654.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2009, October 3). Is Garbage The Solution To Tackling Climate Change?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929100654.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Is Garbage The Solution To Tackling Climate Change?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929100654.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: 12 More Bodies Found on Japan Volcano

Raw: 12 More Bodies Found on Japan Volcano

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A dozen more bodies were found Wednesday as Japanese rescuers resumed efforts to find survivors and retrieve bodies of those trapped by Mount Ontake's eruption. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A Spanish scientist, who spent 12 days trapped about 1300 feet underground in a cave in Peru's remote Amazon region, was rescued on Tuesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media, Industry Groups React To Calif. Plastic Bag Ban

Media, Industry Groups React To Calif. Plastic Bag Ban

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — California is the first state in the country to ban single-use plastic bags in grocery, liquor and convenience stores. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins