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Shell researching non-food crop biofuels

Oil company Royal Dutch Shell and U.S. bioscience firm Virent Energy Systems are to research a petrol alternative from non-food crops that would reduce CO2 emissions without driving up food prices.

Shell said in a statement that unlike ethanol, currently the main biofuel alternative to petrol, the fuel it and Virent aim to develop will be able to run in existing vehicles without the need to modify their engines.
The companies are mainly focusing on second-generation biofuels, which will be produced from non-food crops which can be grown on land not suitable for wheat or sugar cane.

Environmentalists critical of the oil companies say the investments, which are at most around 1 percent of the companies’ total capital expenditure, are public-relations stunts aimed detracting attention from the environmental damage caused by producing and burning hydrocarbons.

NZ Herald

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