Would you put a tree in your gas tank?

June 16, 2010

Putting a tree - figuratively speaking - into your car's gas tank may be the way of the future. Dr. In-Gyu Choi, associate professor in the department of forest science at Seoul National University, will coordinate a session at the 2010 IUFRO World Congress that will look at the future of forest biomass as raw materials for the development of green biofuels and chemicals.

Forest biomass is renewable, abundant and carbon-neutral. Its importance as a future source of green energy and green chemicals should not be ignored, he says.

The session will involve itself with "look-ahead" science - things such as innovative technologies to convert forest biomass into bioalcohol, synthetic gasoline and diesel as well as the future market possibilities for forest-based green chemicals to be used as the raw materials for biodegradable bioplastics. (Plastics from biomass are made the same way as petroleum-based plastics, but are actually cheaper to manufacture and meet or exceed most performance standards with the exception of water resistance and longevity.)

Eco-efficiency - and this session falls under that broad category - aims at the delivery of competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and improve quality of life, while progressively reducing ecological impacts and resource use intensity to a level compatible with the earth's estimated carrying capacity.
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USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station

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