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Sustainable Biofuels

Transforming Farm Waste into Renewable Fuel


To slow climate change, California must create clean, locally produced energy for cars, trucks and equipment.

  • Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California (40%).
  • 98% of California's petroleum consumption is for transportation.
  • Fossil fuels account for about 75% of the state's air pollution problem.

No single renewable energy source can replace the 41 million gallons of petroleum fuels that Californians consume every day to drive vehicles. It will take a combination of sources.

By producing renewable fuels from waste products and by-products rather than dedicated crops (such as corn for ethanol), California can avoid a food vs. fuel competition. The bottom line: significant, sustainable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a healthier climate for people and wildlife.

Our Role

Sustainable Conservation identifies and promotes biofuels that make environmental and economic sense, sourced primarily from local agricultural waste products. We work with scientists, farmers and policymakers to speed the research, market development and policies that will bring California and the nation to a clean energy future.

Sustainable Conservation's current projects in partnership with local farmers include:

  • Running a fleet of milk trucks and pick-up trucks on biomethane, replacing diesel;
  • Turning walnut shells into "liquid biodiesel" through a community power gasification system in the Central Valley;
  • Growing sweet sorghum as a forage crop for dairy cows and transforming the extracted sugar by-product into fuel.

> More about biomethane ("cow power") and biodiesel.

> Compare biomethane, biodiesel and ethanol.