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Second-generation biofuels: exploring imaginaries via deliberative workshops with farmers

Groves, Christopher, Meenakshisundaram, Sankar and Thomas, P. John 2017. Second-generation biofuels: exploring imaginaries via deliberative workshops with farmers. Journal of Responsible Innovation
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Abstract

Second generation biofuels derived from agricultural lignocellulosic waste represent what is hoped to be a significant technological, but also socio-economic advance beyond the shortcomings of first generation biofuels (chiefly bioethanol). The development of advanced catalytic techniques is a central part of making such technologies viable. However, assessing the potential socio-economic significance of the socio-technical arrangements necessary to translate such fundamental techniques into mature technologies is also a central part of shaping the development of second generation technologies in a way that both avoids the shortcomings of first generation fuels and ensures that future developments are genuinely responsive to social needs. A pilot project is described in which a deliberative workshop with farmers in Wales is used to explore the potential societal impacts of novel nanocatalysis methods for the production of lignocellulosic biofuels developed by members of the research team. Using risk- and benefit-ranking/issue mapping methodologies, the workshop examined the potential future role of bioeconomies of different scales, in which second generation biofuels play a significant part, in transforming rural communities. Grounded scepticism from workshop participants delineated key socio-technical issues that will be highly consequential for the development of second-generation technologies, thus laying the ground for subsequent planned work on responsible innovation and nanocatalytic methods of biofuel production.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Completion
Status: Submitted
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 2329-9460
Funders: Welsh Crucible
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 July 2017
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2017 18:17
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/101854

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