Feb 13, 2006
and Bio-based Materials
and Success Stories inching toward the Mainstream
Blume, Founder and Director, International Institute
for Ecological Agriculture (www.permaculture.com)
Daniel Robin, C3SN co-founder, moderator, and managing
director of In3 (www.in3inc.com).
will provide an overview of the current state of biofuel production,
distribution, and commercial use. We will start with biodiesel,
then move to discuss ethanol and other ways of decreasing our
reliance on non-renewable and less sustainable fuels.
permitting, we may also discuss how other "bio-based"
products are also helping reduce our dependence on imported
petroleum, lowering pollution, and decreasing heath risks. This
includes recent developments
in bio-based packaging (compostable trays, plates, foils and
wraps), bio-plastic cutlery and office products, and related
& Discussion Questions
What's new here? What's
the "big deal" of producing and using products made from renewable
What is the current state of biodiesel market? What is the
potential? Who are the early adopters and why?
How can we begin to break the cycle of dependence on imported
oil to usher in a new era of energy independence and geopolitical
security? What will it take to get these agriculture-based materials
into the "new mainstream"?
If biodegradable and bio-based materials are cost-effective and
preferable to petrochemical products, why are they not yet
in widespread use?
How do the tax credits and incentives work for biodiesel usage
Realistically, can ethanol substantially ease our US thirst
for petroleum? What are the opportunities for and limitations
to using ethanol in automobiles? Can it help us break our petroleum
addiction? How can we rapidly move toward mainstream acceptance?
What are the best source materials to use for making biofuel products
-- biomass "waste", cover crops such as mustard, or
even switchgrass (a common weed)? Why are GMO corn and soy not
the best source material?
Doesn't food compete with fuel when made from agricultural crops?
Brown's book Plan B 2.0 (available
entirely for free online) contains a chapter entitled "Food
and Fuel Compete for Land." Read this chapter online at www.earth-policy.org/Books/PB2/PB2ch2_ss5.htm.
or see below for additional links and resources.
Plastics and Biopolymers
there's time and interest ...Moderator Daniel Robin recently attended
and spoke at a conference entitled "Commercializing Bioresins
2005" in Atlanta (www.intertechusa.com/bioresins),
where companies from all over the world shared their stories about
the road to commercial acceptance of biodegradable plastics, and
how these Cradle-to-Cradle designs bring strong economic, environmental
and competitive advantage.
What are the main, most addressable applications for biodegradable
polymers? Who are the main players in the biodegradable plastics
arena, and who has the most compelling success story to date?
How can we leverage this success to accelerate the transition?
What about genetically modified (GM) materials? What are
the main concerns (e.g., unintentional creation of "superweeds,"
or problems with GM "drift," contaminating Identity
Preserved crops)? How can we "get there from here" without
reliance on GM source materials?
What trends affect this shift toward bio-based, and what can
we do (through our businesses, networks, or as individuals)
are your interests? CSN
is structured as a self-organizing system, so your views and interests
will help shape this and future sessions.
Contact us with
involved with or interested in this "bio-based revolution"
is encouraged to attend. Advanced registration
is recommended as this session is likely to fill.
Links and Resources:
If you're unfamiliar with the practice of using closed loop, renewable,
agricultural, "bio-based" materials instead of petroleum,