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Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment her Department has made of the merits of second generation biofuels. (197579)

Advanced biofuel production processes have the potential to deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. These processes also have very significant advantages in potentially using a much wider range of materials than those used for current biofuels, including materials which do not compete with food products, thus reducing the environmental pressures from using land for biofuel crop production. The Government's aim is to create the right market incentives, through policies such as the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), backed up by technology support, for such fuels to flourish.

The Government have funded a number of pieces of recent research by the National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC) on the feasibility of advanced biofuel production processes. These include work on the feasibility of second generation biodiesel production in the UK, available via the NNFCC's website at:

as well as an evaluation of emerging biodiesel technologies and a mapping of the development of advanced biorefinery concepts which could become reality beyond 2020.