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Liquid Biofuels for Transport Prospects, risks and opportunities

 

Glossary over Liquid Biofuels for Transport

Alcohol

The term alcohol refers to a family of chemicals that occur widely in nature and are mass-produced for use in antifreezes, fuels and some manufacturing processes.

Alcohol is commonly used to refer to alcohol-containing drinks such as wine, beer and spirits. In this case the alcohol, ethanol, has been produced by a process called fermentation. Consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to drunkenness and may be harmful to health. (Source: GreenFacts)

Biodiversity

Biodiversity is a contraction of biological diversity. Biodiversity reflects the number, variety and variability of living organisms.

It includes diversity within species (genetic diversity), between species (species diversity), and between ecosystems (ecosystem diversity). (Source: GreenFacts)

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Biofuels

Biofuels are non-fossil fuels. They are energy carriers that store the energy derived from organic materials (biomass), including plant materials and animal waste.

They may be solid, such as fuelwood, charcoal and wood pellets; liquid, such as ethanol, biodiesel and pyrolysis oils; or gaseous, such as biogas. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Biomass

The total quantity or mass of organic material produced by living organisms in a particular area, at a given time. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Cellulose

The principal component of cell walls of plants, composed of a long chain of tightly bound sugar molecules. (Source: weblife.org Humanure Glossary  )

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Climate change

The long-term fluctuations in temperature, precipitation, wind, and all other aspects of the Earth's climate.

It is also defined by the United Nations Convention on Climate Change as “change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods” (Source: CoRIS glossary  )

Energy crop

A plant grown to produce biofuels, or directly exploited for its energy content. (Source: FAO  Forests and energy glossary )

Feedstock

Feedstock refers to the raw material that is required for some industrial process. (Source: GreenFacts )

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Fermentation

The process by which micro-organisms break down complex organic substances generally in the absence of oxygen to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Food & Agriculture Organization

"The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO is also a source of knowledge and information. We help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. Since our founding in 1945, we have focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people. FAO's activities comprise four main areas:

  • Putting information within reach
  • Sharing policy expertise.
  • Providing a meeting place for nations.
  • Bringing knowledge to the field. "
Forest

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines “forest” as a portion of land bigger than half a hectare (5 000m2) with trees higher than 5 meters and a tree canopy cover of more than 10 %, or with trees that will be able to meet these criteria.

It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use.

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Fossil fuel(s)

A general term for buried combustible geologic deposits of organic materials, formed from decayed plants and animals that have been converted to crude oil, coal, natural gas, or heavy oils by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years. (Source: US EPA Glossary of Climate Change terms  )

Greenhouse gas

Greenhouse gases are those gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and emit radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere and clouds.

This property causes the greenhouse effect.

Water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and ozone (O3) are the primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Moreover there are a number of entirely human-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as the halocarbons and other chlorine and bromine containing substances, dealt with under the Montreal Protocol. Beside CO2, N2O and CH4, the Kyoto Protocol deals with the greenhouse gases sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). (Source: IPCC Glossary  )

Groundwater

Water beneath the Earth's surface in the spaces between soil particles and between rock surfaces. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

Habitat

The location and environmental conditions in which a particular organism normally lives. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Land use

The human use of a piece of land for a certain purpose (such as irrigated agriculture or recreation). Influenced by, but not synonymous with, land cover. (Source: MA  Glossary )

Malnutrition

A state of bad nourishment.

Malnutrition refers both to undernutrition and overnutrition, as well as to conditions arising from dietary imbalances leading to diet-related noncommunicable diseases. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment  Glossary )

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is "an international organisation helping governments tackle the economic, social and governance challenges of a globalised economy(... It) groups 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy."

See their Environment Pages:

Starch

Complex carbohydrate used by plants as a way to store glucose (sugar). It is found in potatoes, white rice, bread, corn, wheat and other foods (Source: GreenFacts)

Subsidy

Financial assistance (often from governmental bodies) to businesses, citizens, or institutions to encourage a desired activity deemed beneficial. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Sustainability

A characteristic or state whereby the needs of the present and local population can be met without compromising the ability of future generations or populations in other locations to meet their needs.

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Wood energy

Energy derived from wood in various forms. Woodfuel includes solids (fuelwood and charcoal), liquids (black liquor, methanol, and pyrolitic oil) and gases from the gasification of these fuels. (Source: GreenFacts, based on FAO  Forests and energy glossary )

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