Converting waste to biofuels could reduce emissions in the U.S. per UCLA study

August 1, 2019

A new report by UCLA published in Nature Energy identifies the potential power of an underutilized alternative energy source in the United States—waste. The study, led by Deepak Rajagopal (Associate Professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA) and Bo Liu (Urban Planning Doctoral Candidate at UCLA), highlights the benefits that the U.S. may experience if waste-based energy is harnessed.

Airlines have begun integrating waste biofuels into the commercial aviation industry, led by United Airlines’ partnership with AltAir Fuels in 2016. (Courtesy of American Airlines)

Possible perks include addressing our need for more sustainable forms of energy production, as well as our growing need to process our own waste. Using waste-derived fuels also would provide an alternative to current biofuel sources like crop-based ethanol, which increases food prices and causes environmental damage. 

The study was partially funded by the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge (SLA GC).

Read more at UCLA Newsroom.