Biofuels are growing at an explosive pace. Especially in Brazil, where output of sugar-cane ethanol has increased almost 10% per year since 2000. No suprise, given the high price of oil.
Markets like this one have powerful effects. We’ve all read about the threat of rising food prices, for instance, as food crops are diverted to fuel production (though in Brazil the price of sugar has actually crashed amid the boom: see “Brazil ethanol sector fears ‘delirious’ growth”).
But the market also provides a powerful incentive to innovate. This morning MIT Technology Review is running a quick take of mine on one sign of the ethanol innovation boom: research espousing the growth-enhancing benefits of magnetic fields. See “Can Magnets Boost Ethanol Production?”