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Pimentel interview comments

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Tom Philpott (Grist) questions entomologist and biofuels skeptic extraordinaire David Pimentel (Cornell) about why crop-based energy won’t work. Interesting interview, but Pimentel does need to get out a bit more. And I wish Philpott had been a bit more probing on some of Pimentel’s assertions – like this one: Pimentel: Conserve! One word. And no […]

Reactions to Pimentel’s lecture at Duke

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

Dr. Pimentel, a long-standing critic of the energy efficiency and sustainability of biofuels, gave a lecture at Duke last Tuesday. I was not able to attend, but the biofuels community in the Triangle is abuzz with reactions to the event. Everyone I heard talk about it was rather under-whelmed. Pimentel came across as unconvincing and […]

New catalyst could make biodiesel cheaper

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

Interesting new technology developed in Japan: a sugar-based catalyst to replace the commonly used lye in the transesterification reaction that turns veg-oil into biodiesel: Michikazu Hara, of the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Yokohama, Japan, and his colleagues have used common, inexpensive sugars to form a recyclable solid acid that does the job on the […]

Science and biofuels

Friday, July 29th, 2005

There is a big debate raging over whether biofuels (biodiesel, ethanol) are sustainable. A paper published earlier this year by David Pimentel and Ted Patzek has the biofuels proponents on the defensive about the sustainability of the two most widely used types of biofuels in the US: corn-based ethanol and soy-based biodiesel (methylesther). Ethanol production […]