Biofuels in China: opportunities and challenges

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With rapid economic development, energy consumption in China has tripled in the past 20 yr, exceeding 2.4 billion tons of standard coal in 2006. The search for new green energy as substitutes for the nonrenewable energy resources has become an urgent task. China has a variety of climates and is rich in potential biofuel plant species. Corn and cassava are used as the main raw materials for bioethanol production in China. At the end of 2005, bioethanol productivity had increased to 1.02 million tons produced by four companies, and bioethanol-blended petrol accounted for 20% of the total petrol consumption in China. According to the Mid- and Long-term Development Plan for Renewable Energy, the consumption of biodiesel in China will reach 0.2 million tons in 2010 and 2.0 million tons in 2020. This review is intended to provide an introduction to the distribution and development of biofuel crops and biofuel industry in China.

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