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Biofuels 100 years and getting there

The first diesel engines ran on peanut oil. But petroleum was more plentiful and cheaper, and has had the cost advantage ever since. Even with oil prices rising, corn ethanol needs subsidies to compete. Sugar cane ethanol is cheaper – in Brazil, but not elsewhere. Next generation cellulosic biofuels are considerably more expensive, but many predict they’ll one day be the cheapest liquid fuel. If so, land and water use would be limiting factors.