Status and Potential of Bio-fuel Development in Thailand (in Thai)
Decharut Sukkumnoed, Ph.D.
The recent oil price surge has driven a rapid growth in bio-fuel development in Thailand. This has raised concerns on food security by the impact of converting plant-derived food materials into fuel. This article reviews and analyzes the status and potential of bio-fuels and their feedstock. The analysis shows that Thailand can increase the supply of ethanol up to 20% of gasoline consumption without expanding planted areas. However, the current price structure of ethanol makes investment into ethanol production from crops unattractive. Meanwhile, the limited feedstock is a major constraint to bio-diesel development. This would require expansion in the area planted to oil palm. As yet there is no evidence that the recent bio-fuel development in Thailand has negative impacts on food production and prices. But without coping strategies, the impacts could become serious in the near future.
Keywords: bio-fuel, food security, ethanol, bio-diesel
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