BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to develop liquid biological fuel under the precondition of ensuring food security, Chen Deming, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said here on Tuesday.
China will discontinue to use maize but turn to non-food crops, such as sweet sorghum, to produce liquid bio-fuel, including ethanol and bio-diesel, Chen said. Most of such non-food crops grow in salina and barren hills and land, which are not suitable for growing grain crops, he said.
Chen said, it is a common practice in the world to produce bio-ethanol with maize. The United States annually produces 15 million tons of bio-ethanol with the crop. Thus the country has increased maize output but decreased land sown to soybean. "In view of the acreage of China's farm land, such a process is not suitable for the country," Chen said.
There are on the Chinese mainland four facilities annually producing 1.02 million tons of bio-ethanol with long-preserved grain, which have become inedible, Chen said.
The official said, China has approximately 100 million hectares of salina and barren land that is suitable for growing non-food crops to be used for fuel production.