Plant Waste Powered Limos to Bring World Leaders to Copenhagen Climate Talks
Photo via the Daily Mail
If you're hosting the world's most important conference on climate change, you sort of have to sweat the small stuff. Eyes from around the globe will be watching to see what progress the world leaders can make towards uniting to combat global warming in your town. So you can't very well send any old gas guzzling limousine to cart the green-inclined heads of state around Copenhagen. Which is why Denmark has worked out a solution that's both environmentally conscious and luxurious--limos that run on experimental biofuels made from plant waste will ferry the likes of Gordon Brown and Barack Obama around the city.The biofuels aren't yet in commercial production--they're considered next, or second generation biofuels, because they don't actually use a crop for fuel, like corn-based ethanol does. Instead, they make use only of the plant waste, leaving the rest of the crop available for consumption as food or other uses. The key to making the technology commercially viable--which the very public limo stunt means to hint will happen soon--has been thought to lie in enzymes that break down the waste, which are found in strange places: a WWII fungus and elephant dung, for starters.
Anyhow, the world leaders will be shuttled to the conference in limos powered by the fuels, which also emit less carbon than first generation biofuels. According to Bloomberg:
The Danish foreign ministry, official host of the Dec. 7-18 event, agreed to buy 3,000 liters of biofuel from four Nordic companies that will produce it from plant chaff at an experimental facility . . . The next-generation biofuels, which aren’t yet in commercial production, use plant waste instead of crops and cut carbon-dioxide emissions more than the first-generation versions. The fuel at the summit . . . will reduce car CO2 emissions 85 percent compared with regular gasoline, organizers said in the Danish capital.
The event will mark the first public use of the unique biofuels. The Danish government will also be offering free bikes--no surprise there, seeing as how they were our winner for most bike-friendly city in TreeHugger's Best of Green Awards--and public transportation to the attendees.