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Bioenergy > Feedstocks > Ethanol feedstocks > Cassava

Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is a starchy tropical root crop that can be used for food or as a feedstock for bioethanol.

Average yield:  ???
biofuel yield: {{{biofuel yield}}}
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Water requirements:  ???
Soil preference:  ???
Harvesting:  ???
Harvesting season:  ???
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Environmental Sustainability

Greenhouse Gases



Land Degradation

Social Sustainability

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Academic papers/reports


  • Rush to Use Crops as Fuel Raises Food Prices and Hunger Fears, 7 April 2011 by the New York Times: "The starchy cassava root has long been an important ingredient in everything from tapioca pudding and ice cream to paper and animal feed."
    • "But last year, 98 percent of cassava chips exported from Thailand, the world’s largest cassava exporter, went to just one place and almost all for one purpose: to China to make biofuel."
    • "Each year, an ever larger portion of the world’s crops — cassava and corn, sugar and palm oil — is being diverted for biofuels as developed countries pass laws mandating greater use of nonfossil fuels and as emerging powerhouses like China seek new sources of energy to keep their cars and industries running. Cassava is a relatively new entrant in the biofuel stream."
    • "But with food prices rising sharply in recent months, many experts are calling on countries to scale back their headlong rush into green fuel development, arguing that the combination of ambitious biofuel targets and mediocre harvests of some crucial crops is contributing to high prices, hunger and political instability."
    • "'The fact that cassava is being used for biofuel in China, rapeseed is being used in Europe, and sugar cane elsewhere is definitely creating a shift in demand curves,' said Timothy D. Searchinger, a research scholar at Princeton University who studies the topic. 'Biofuels are contributing to higher prices and tighter markets.'"[1]
  • Impacts of Biofuel Targets on Land Use and Food Supply, 6 April 2011 by Journalist Resource: "The increased global production of biofuels such as ethanol has become a subject of controversy, as land formerly dedicated to the growing of food crops is repurposed to meet energy needs. Each year, more crops such as sugar, palm oil, corn and cassava are diverted for these purposes."
    • "A paper by the World Bank, 'The Impacts of Biofuel Targets on Land-Use Change and Food Supply,' uses land-allocation information from the biofuels production sectors to determine the levels of competition between biofuels and food industries for agricultural commodities. The authors model the potential effects of increased biofuels production to meet current national targets."
    • "The paper’s findings include:
      • Expanding global biofuels production to meet current national biofuels targets would generally reduce global GDP between 0.02% and 0.06%, with the national GDP impacts varying across countries.
      • Significant Expansion in biofuels production would necessitate substantial land re-allocation, resulting in as much a 5% decreases in forest and pasture lands.
      • The expansion of biofuels would likely cause a 1% reduction in global food supply.
      • The magnitude of the impact on food costs is not as large as perceived earlier — sugar, corn and oil seeds would experience 1% to 8% price increases by 2020 — but increases would be significant in developing countries such as India and those in Sub-Saharan Africa."[2]
  • PetroVietnam sets up biofuel firm, 10 August 2008 by VietnamNet: "The Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) is establishing a biofuel production and distribution company....The company will produce ethanol, from cassava".
    • "The project is a part of the biofuel development programme, ratified by the Government last year. The programme aims to develop strategies for 2015 with a vision to 2025 for the production of renewable energy and the partial replacement of traditional fuels."
    • "As part of the programme, around 250,000 tonnes of ethanol and vegetable oil will be produced to meet 1 per cent of the country’s petroleum demand by 2015."[4]


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Tropical feedstocks for bioenergy edit
Bamboo (Charcoal) | Cassava (Biodiesel and Bioethanol) | Coconut palm (Biodiesel) | Jatropha (Biodiesel) | Nypa palm (Bioethanol) | Oil palm (Biodiesel) | Sugar cane (Bioethanol)
Bioenergy feedstocks edit

Biodiesel feedstocks:
Currently in use: Animal fat | Castor beans | Coconut oil | Jatropha | Jojoba | Karanj | Palm oil | Rapeseed | Soybeans | Sunflower seed | Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO)
Currently in research and development: Algae | Halophytes (Salt-tolerant plants)

Ethanol feedstocks:
First-generation: Cassava | Corn | Milo | Nypa palm | Sorghum | Sugar beets | Sugar cane | Sugar palm |Sweet potato | Waste citrus peels | Wheat | Whey
Second-generation: For cellulosic technology - Grasses: Miscanthus, Prairie grasses, Switchgrass | Trees: Hybrid poplar, Mesquite, Willow

Charcoal feedstocks: Bamboo | Wood
Waste-to-energy (MSW)


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