Renewable Matter # 3 / April

5.5 Billion Precious Tons of Forests and Agricultural Fields

by Aldo Femia

The “war for biomass” – Mario Bonaccorso warned us in an article that appeared in the last issue of Renewable Matter – is not a too unrealistic scenario. The first signs are already visible in some trade policies adopted by companies and governments. Rivalries for the different potential uses of biomass are produced by and exacerbate other wars, first of all the one for water, which is already an open conflict in many parts of the world. 

According to estimates by Water Footprint Network, for each ton of vegetables an average 300 cubic metres of water (300,000 litres) are needed; 1,000 for fruit; 1,600 for cereals; 4,000 for pulses. It is even worse for derivatives: 1,000 litres of bioethanol made from corn need 2.9 million litres of water; a ton of butter needs 5.5 million litres; a ton of beef...

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