ONE HECTARE of wheat can provide enough bioethanol to drive your car once around the globe, and it could save up to 60% on carbon emissions compared to normal petrol.

Those are the first of several findings to be announced in December from a British Biogen project, backed by the Home-Grown Cereals Authority.

The project will result in a carbon-accredited forecourt marque for bioethanol processed from UK-grown wheat.

The project forms part of the proposed Bioethanol Accreditation Scheme (BAS), which aims to improve trust and confidence in bioethanol, explained British Biogen‘s Peter Billins.

“There‘s a lot of scepticism among Government and industry experts about the carbon credentials of bioethanol.

“What we want is a bullet-proof accreditation system that brings together our methodology and theirs,” Mr Billins said.

As far as the BAS is concerned, that methodology starts with the establishment of an environmental footprint for wheat, he said.

“We‘ve commissioned the Central Science Laboratory to carry out the study which will define the environmental credentials of growing a crop of wheat,” said the HGCA‘s Alastair Dickie.

The study will look at the use of pesticides and fertilisers and the impact on the environment,” said Mr Dickie.

The development of a UK accreditation scheme would give consumers the opportunity to buy domestically produced biofuel, with known credentials, he added.

Peter Billins and Alastair Dickie will be talking at the England Crops conference on Tuesday 16 November. For more information see www.fwi.co.uk/cropsconferences.

More detailed information on non-food crops can be found in the FWi Non-Food crops section, or in our special features in Farmers Weekly (Nov 12) and Crops magazine (Nov 13).