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Palm oil must be made more sustainable while replacements are made scalable, engineers warn

Efforts to create synthetic replacements for palm oil are still likely to take several years, so immediate attention should be focused on making the existing production process more sustainable, researchers at the University of Bath's Centre for Integrated Bioprocessing Research (CIBR) and Centre for Sustainable Circular Technologies (CSCT) have found.  Palm oil production has long been criticised for its environmental impact through deforestation and despite a strong environmental case for curtailing the industry, at present none of the existing alternative products would be economically or environmentally viable at scale, state the authors Dr. Sophie Parsons, Prof Chris Chuck and Dr. Sofia Raikova.  Their research paper, The viability and desirability of replacing palm oil, published in Nature Sustainability, finds that despite the strong case to reduce farming of oil palm, in the short term efforts must focus on making the process more sustainable, rather than replacing it.  Read more.....

 

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