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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  28 Jul 2009

TECHNOLOGY: Biofuels Experts To Talk In Stellenbosch


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Lee Lynd, a renowned biofuels expert and chair of the new Global Sustainable Bioenergy (GSB) project, will deliver a public lecture on 3 August at Stellenbosch University about ways to explore the potential of biofuels.

This forms part of a special BioEnergy Seminar Series organized by the Biofuels Research Chair in the Stellenbosch University (SU) Department of Microbiology.

The meeting will also be addressed by Prof August Temu, a respected academic leader in agroforestry in Africa, and Director of Partnerships at the World Agroforestry Centre. He will address the meeting about the role of agricultural education in food security for Africa.

Prof Lynd is associated with the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and is one of the world’s leading minds in the use of plant biomass for the production of energy. He is the director and chief scientific officer of Mascoma Corporation, a biomass energy start-up he co-founded.

He will be visiting South Africa as part of the recently launched Global Sustainable Bioenergy: Feasibility and Implementation Paths project.

Prof Lynd travels to Stellenbosch University to lend support to the GSB organizing committee for Africa, consisting of Prof Emile Van Zyl, holder of the SANERI Senior Chair of Energy Research: Bio-fuels and other clean alternative fuels, and co-chair Prof Temu,

The GSB project has been launched in response to the substantial confusion and growing uncertainty about whether the world should look to bioenergy (biofuels, heat, and electricity) to play a prominent role in the future.

The three-stage project is headed by Prof Lynd, along with Nathanael Greene of the Natural Resources Defense Council in the USA, and Prof Tom Richard of Pennsylvania State University.

Prof Van Zyl sees the GSB as a response to the substantial confusion and growing uncertainty about whether the world should look to bioenergy (biofuels, heat, and electricity) to play a prominent role in the future. “There are just as many critics for as against it, and the GSB wants to provide clear-cut answers that can provide policy frameworks and advise strategy to ensure a sustainable result on a global scale.”

Prof Van Zyl says the project will place sustainable bioenergy production within the context of new issues such as climate change, increased production yields and enhanced technological advancement.

The first stage of the GSB project will consist of meetings held at five locations around the world to examine and plan for issues within a regional and continental context. These meetings, starting in November 2090, will be held in Malaysia, the Netherlands, Brazil and the USA. The regional event for Africa is being planned for Stellenbosch from 15 to 17 March 2010.

  • The BioEnergy Seminar Series takes place on 3 August, Lecture Hall A203, JC Smuts Building, Stellenbosch University Campus, from 13:00 to 14:45.

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