Nature and Environmental Book Reviews

Short List of Best Nature and Environmental Books



Renewable Energy:
Ethanol and Other Biofuels

Recommended Books on Ethanol and Other Biofuels

Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy EconomyBiodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy
Greg Pahl

When Rudolph Diesel invented his engine in the late 19th century, he envisioned a device that could run anywhere on a wide range of local fuels. A century later, Greg Pahl recalls that vision. He points out that biodiesel is more biodegradable than sugar and less toxic than table salt. It can be produced from domestic feedstocks, thus reducing the need for foreign oil while boosting the local economy. Biodiesel can reduce net CO2 emissions by 78% compared with petroleum diesel fuel, cutting greenhouse gases that lead to global warming. In this book Pahl explores the successes and current shortcomings of biodiesel. 2008, Chelsea Green; 2nd Edition

Biodiesel PowerBiodiesel Power: The Passion, the People, and the Politics of the Next Renewable Fuel
Lyle Estill

Biodiesel Power is the chronicle of an emerging industry. Lightly touching on the technical aspects of the fuel, the book is largely about the people and politics of the biodiesel movement. It explores the tensions between grassroots activists, altruistic co-ops, profit-minded commercial producers, and the current administration. Compelling and timely, this is the history of biodiesel in the making. 2005, New Society Publishers

Biofuels for Transport
Short List

Biofuels for Transport: Global Potential and Implications for Energy and Agriculture
The Worldwatch Institute

This comprehensive assessment from Worldwatch Institute focuses on the opportunities and risks of the large-scale production of biofuels. It demystifies complex questions and concerns, such as the food vs. fuel debate. Global in scope, it is further informed by five country studies, from Brazil, China, Germany, India and Tanzania. The authors conclude that biofuels will play a significant role in our energy future, but warn that the large-scale use of biofuels carries risks that require focused and immediate policy initiatives. 2007, Earthscan Publications

Sustainable EthanolSustainable Ethanol: Biofuels, Biorefineries, Cellulosic Biomass, Flex-fuel Vehicles, and Sustainable Farming for Energy Independence
Jeffrey and Adrian Goettemoeller

Sustainable Ethanol looks at the benefits and limitations of North America's fuel ethanol industry, as it becomes more efficient and less reliant on fossil fuel inputs. Some cars can get better fuel economy on 10% ethanol compared to ethanol-free gasoline, and the next generation of flex-fuel and hybrid vehicles could be optimized to get even better fuel economy on ethanol. The authors maintain that North America can produce significant quantities of biofuels without damaging our food production capacity and show how ethanol can be made from waste materials and soil-restoring perennial crops. 2007, Prairie Oak Publishing

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