Can the earth deliver the biomass-for-fuel we demand?

Tadeusz Patzek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this work I outline the rational, science-based arguments that question current wisdom of replacing fossil plant fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) with fresh plant agrofuels. This 1:1 replacement is absolutely impossible for more than a few years, because of the ways the planet Earth works and maintains life. After these few years, the denuded Earth will be a different planet, hostile to human life. I argue that with the current set of objective constraints a continuous stable solution to human life cannot exist in the near-future, unless we all rapidly implement much more limited ways of using the Earth's resources, while reducing the global populations of cars, trucks, livestock and, eventually, also humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy Systems
Subtitle of host publicationBenefits and Risks
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages37
ISBN (Print)9781402086533
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Agriculture
  • agrofuel
  • biomass
  • biorefinery
  • boundary
  • crop
  • ecology
  • energy
  • ethanol
  • fuel production
  • mass balance
  • model
  • net energy value
  • plantation
  • population
  • sustainability
  • thermodynamics
  • tropics
  • yield

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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