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Scientist questions benefits of alternative fuels

EDINBURGH, Scotland -- The production of crops for alternative fuels actually increases global warming, according t...


EDINBURGH, Scotland — The production of crops for alternative fuels actually increases global warming, according to a Dutch atmospheric chemist and former Nobel prize winner.

Paul Crutzen said the growing of crops for alternative fuels actually is more harmful for the environment than burning diesel fuel for transportation. He co-authored a study showing that alternative fuels derived from rapeseed could product up to 70% more greenhouse gas emissions than diesel fuel.

The report urged farmers to use crops requiring little fertilizer and harvesting methods that are not energy-intensive in order to produce environmental benefits. The study suggested that using biodiesel derived from rapeseed would produce between 1 and 1.7 times more greenhouse gases than burning diesel.

Corn, widely used for the North American production of biodiesel, would produce between 0.9 and 1.5 times the greenhouse gases produced by gasoline, the report said.

– With files from Reuters News Agency


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