Friday, November 05, 2004

Hydrogen from sunflowers?

Whenever I hear of a breakthrough that promises to make cheap, clean fuels such as hydrogen out of crops such as sunflowers, I am skeptical. First, there's the problem of taking up arable land for growing the crops and that means less land for growing food. Then there's always the unmentioned issue. Growing crops takes a huge amount of petroleum in the form of fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and fuel for farm machinery, transport and processing. It's hard to see how biofuels will solve our energy and pollution problems or how they will save us much oil. But, I'm certainly open to further information that will change my mind.

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