“Diverting about 50% of current corn, wheat, and rice stalks to stalk cellulosic processing and then into ethanol to SAF biofuels was sufficient to meet global peak demand for all of commercial and generation aviation. No food required. No new land required. Just dual-crop for food and fuel. And, of course, as we continue to move calorie-stripping subsistence farmers off of the land and into more useful livelihoods, switch grass on semi-arable land is completely reasonable as well, and about 3% of global land mass would supply all SAF biofuels for peak aviation demand. Having spoken to a biofuels expert as well last year, it’s likely that grain stalks will mostly be used because they are already waste in fields where machines are doing collection, while switch grass is basically massive prairies that would have be harvested.
And it’s worth pointing out that this is one of about eight major SAF biofuel pathways. A lot of them use waste food biomass, especially vegetable and animals fats, to shorten the pathway from light hydrocarbons to heavier kerosene equivalents. The world is absurdly big, and we have absurd amounts of biological calories we can use in a mostly virtuous cycle without anyone going hungry.”