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July 5, 2005
Cornell ecologist's study finds that producing ethanol and biodiesel from corn and other crops is not worth the energy
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Chris Hallman/University Photography
Ecologist David Pimentel, shown here pumping gas, says that his analysis shows that producing ethanol uses more energy than the resulting fuel generates. Copyright © Cornell University

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Turning plants such as corn, soybeans and sunflowers into fuel uses much more energy than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates, according to a new Cornell University and University of California-Berkeley study.

"There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel," says David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell. "These strategies are not sustainable."

Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Berkeley, conducted a detailed analysis of the energy input-yield ratios of producing ethanol from corn, switch grass and wood biomass as well as for producing biodiesel from soybean and sunflower plants. Their report is published in Natural Resources Research (Vol. 14:1, 65-76).

In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, the study found that:

  • corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
  • switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
  • wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for biodiesel production, the study found that:

  • soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and
  • sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

In assessing inputs, the researchers considered such factors as the energy used in producing the crop (including production of pesticides and fertilizer, running farm machinery and irrigating, grinding and transporting the crop) and in fermenting/distilling the ethanol from the water mix. Although additional costs are incurred, such as federal and state subsidies that are passed on to consumers and the costs associated with environmental pollution or degradation, these figures were not included in the analysis.

"The United State desperately needs a liquid fuel replacement for oil in the near future," says Pimentel, "but producing ethanol or biodiesel from plant biomass is going down the wrong road, because you use more energy to produce these fuels than you get out from the combustion of these products."

Although Pimentel advocates the use of burning biomass to produce thermal energy (to heat homes, for example), he deplores the use of biomass for liquid fuel. "The government spends more than $3 billion a year to subsidize ethanol production when it does not provide a net energy balance or gain, is not a renewable energy source or an economical fuel. Further, its production and use contribute to air, water and soil pollution and global warming," Pimentel says. He points out that the vast majority of the subsidies do not go to farmers but to large ethanol-producing corporations.

"Ethanol production in the United States does not benefit the nation's energy security, its agriculture, economy or the environment," says Pimentel. "Ethanol production requires large fossil energy input, and therefore, it is contributing to oil and natural gas imports and U.S. deficits." He says the country should instead focus its efforts on producing electrical energy from photovoltaic cells, wind power and burning biomass and producing fuel from hydrogen conversion.

-30-

Study: Ethanol May Add to Global Warming

WASHINGTON (AP) — The widespread use of ethanol from corn could result in nearly twice the greenhouse gas emissions as the gasoline it would replace because of expected land-use changes, researchers concluded Thursday. The study challenges the rush to biofuels as a response to global warming.

The researchers said that past studies showing the benefits of ethanol in combating climate change have not taken into account almost certain changes in land use worldwide if ethanol from corn — and in the future from other feedstocks such as switchgrass — become a prized commodity.

"Using good cropland to expand biofuels will probably exacerbate global warming," concludes the study published in Science magazine.

The researchers said that farmers under economic pressure to produce biofuels will increasingly "plow up more forest or grasslands," releasing much of the carbon formerly stored in plants and soils through decomposition or fires. Globally, more grasslands and forests will be converted to growing the crops to replace the loss of grains when U.S. farmers convert land to biofuels, the study said.

The Renewable Fuels Association, which represents ethanol producers, called the researchers' view of land-use changes "simplistic" and said the study "fails to put the issue in context."

"Assigning the blame for rainforest deforestation and grassland conversion to agriculture solely on the renewable fuels industry ignores key factors that play a greater role," said Bob Dinneen, the association's president.

There has been a rush to developing biofuels, especially ethanol from corn and cellulosic feedstock such as switchgrass and wood chips, as a substitute for gasoline. President Bush signed energy legislation in December that mandates a six-fold increase in ethanol use as a fuel to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022, calling the requirement key to weaning the nation from imported oil.

The new "green" fuel, whether made from corn or other feedstocks, has been widely promoted — both in Congress and by the White House — as a key to combating global warming. Burning it produces less carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, than the fossil fuels it will replace.

During the recent congressional debate over energy legislation, lawmakers frequently cited estimates that corn-based ethanol produces 20 percent less greenhouse gases in production, transportation and use than gasoline, and that cellulosic ethanol has an even greater benefit of 70 percent less emissions.

The study released Thursday by researchers affiliated with Princeton University and a number of other institutions maintains that these analyses "were one-sided" and counted the carbon benefits of using land for biofuels but not the carbon costs of diverting land from its existing uses.

"The other studies missed a key factor that everyone agrees should have been included, the land use changes that actually are going to increase greenhouse gas emissions," said Tim Searchinger, a research scholar at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and lead author of the study.

The study said that after taking into account expected worldwide land-use changes, corn-based ethanol, instead of reducing greenhouse gases by 20 percent, will increases it by 93 percent compared to using gasoline over a 30-year period. Biofuels from switchgrass, if they replace croplands and other carbon-absorbing lands, would result in 50 percent more greenhouse gas emissions, the researchers concluded.

Not all ethanol would be affected by the land-use changes, the study said.

"We should be focusing on our use of biofuels from waste products" such as garbage, which would not result in changes in agricultural land use, Searchinger said in an interview. "And you have to be careful how much you require. Use the right biofuels, but don't require too much too fast. Right now we're making almost exclusively the wrong biofuels."

The study included co-authors affiliated with Iowa State University, the Woods Hole Research Center and the Agricultural Conservation Economics. It was supported in part indirectly by a grants from NASA's Terrestrial Ecology Program, and by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Searchinger, in addition to his affiliation with Princeton, is a fellow at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund of the United States.

The study prompted a letter Thursday to President Bush and Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress from nearly a dozen scientists who urged them to pursue a policy "that ensures biofuels are not produced on productive forests, grassland or cropland."

"Some opportunities remain to produce environmentally beneficial biofuels" while "unsound biofuel policies could sacrifice tens of hundreds of million of acres" of grasslands and forests while increasing global warming, said the scientists, including four members of the National Academy of Sciences.

 
 
Source:  
 
 
 
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Date:  
2005-07-06

Ethanol And Biodiesel From Crops Not Worth The Energy

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Turning plants such as corn, soybeans and sunflowers into fuel uses much more energy than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates, according to a new Cornell University and University of California-Berkeley study.

 

"There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel," says David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell. "These strategies are not sustainable."

Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Berkeley, conducted a detailed analysis of the energy input-yield ratios of producing ethanol from corn, switch grass and wood biomass as well as for producing biodiesel from soybean and sunflower plants. Their report is published in Natural Resources Research (Vol. 14:1, 65-76).

In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, the study found that:

* corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
* switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
* wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for biodiesel production, the study found that:

* soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and
* sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

In assessing inputs, the researchers considered such factors as the energy used in producing the crop (including production of pesticides and fertilizer, running farm machinery and irrigating, grinding and transporting the crop) and in fermenting/distilling the ethanol from the water mix. Although additional costs are incurred, such as federal and state subsidies that are passed on to consumers and the costs associated with environmental pollution or degradation, these figures were not included in the analysis.

"The United State desperately needs a liquid fuel replacement for oil in the near future," says Pimentel, "but producing ethanol or biodiesel from plant biomass is going down the wrong road, because you use more energy to produce these fuels than you get out from the combustion of these products."

Although Pimentel advocates the use of burning biomass to produce thermal energy (to heat homes, for example), he deplores the use of biomass for liquid fuel. "The government spends more than $3 billion a year to subsidize ethanol production when it does not provide a net energy balance or gain, is not a renewable energy source or an economical fuel. Further, its production and use contribute to air, water and soil pollution and global warming," Pimentel says. He points out that the vast majority of the subsidies do not go to farmers but to large ethanol-producing corporations.

"Ethanol production in the United States does not benefit the nation's energy security, its agriculture, economy or the environment," says Pimentel. "Ethanol production requires large fossil energy input, and therefore, it is contributing to oil and natural gas imports and U.S. deficits." He says the country should instead focus its efforts on producing electrical energy from photovoltaic cells, wind power and burning biomass and producing fuel from hydrogen conversion.

Editor's Note: The original news release can be found here.

 
 
Ethanol Isn’t Worth the Energy

by Jeremy Brown , Canadian Statistical Assessment Service, CanStats Bulletins (http://www.canstats.org/readdetail.asp?id=781)

July 21, 2005

Through the federal Ethanol Expansion Program and federal and provincial fuel exemptions, the governments of Canada have been promoting the use of ethanol as a fuel supplement to help meet their Kyoto targets. However, recent research indicates that using ethanol as a fuel supplement, effectively displacing some gasoline consumption, may do little to help the environment as it takes more energy to produce ethanol than it contains.

Government Support

Various levels of government have provided substantial support to expand ethanol production in Canada. At the federal level, the Ethanol Expansion Program has already allocated $118 million for the construction or expansion of ethanol plants across the country. Besides direct support for the construction of ethanol plants, the ethanol portion of blended gasoline receives an exemption from the federal excise tax of 10 cents per litre on gasoline.

The provincial governments of Alberta and Ontario exempt the ethanol portion of blended gasoline from their taxes, without restriction on the ethanol source or the percentage of ethanol blended in the fuel. The governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba offer an exemption from their taxes for ethanol that is both produced and consumed in their respective provinces. The governments of British Columbia and Quebec have committed themselves to exempting the ethanol portion from their taxes when an ethanol plant is built in their respective provinces. Furthermore, the Saskatchewan government has passed legislation that will mandated all gasoline contain a 10% ethanol blend across the province; Manitoba and Ontario are considering similar legislation.

Through generous government support, ethanol production has increased from about 200 million litres per year before the Ethanol Expansion Program began, to a total of about 1.4 billion litres of fuel ethanol per year by the end of 2007; about seven times the level of production prior to the program. This is enough ethanol to cover the government’s target that 35% of all gasoline in Canada contain a 10% blend of ethanol by 2010, as outlined in Canadian Climate Change Action Plan.

But Is It Worthwhile?

According to a recent study published in Natural Resources Research, turning plants such as corn, soybeans, and sunflowers into liquid fuel, such as ethanol, uses much more energy than can be generated from the resulting ethanol. David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell University, and Tad W. Patzek, professor of civil and environmental engineering at University of California-Berkeley, conducted a detailed analysis of the ratios of energy input to energy output of ethanol produced from corn, switch grass, and wood biomass.

In assessing inputs, the researchers considered the energy used in producing the crop, including production of pesticides and fertilizer, running farm machinery and irrigating, grinding and transporting the crop; as well as in fermenting/distilling the ethanol. Comparing energy input to energy output for producing ethanol, the study found that:


  • producing ethanol from corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;

  • producing ethanol from switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and

  • producing ethanol from wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

Although Professors Pimentel and Patzek do not express the net energy return to producing conventional gasoline, even the American Coalition for Ethanol states that producing gasoline from crude oil requires 15 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; half the net energy loss of ethanol.

This is not the first study to find similar results. Two panel studies of ethanol production by the US Department of Energy also reported a negative energy return (ERAB, 1980, 1981). Twenty-six scientists independent of the Department of Energy reviewed these reports. Their findings indicated that the conversion of corn into ethanol energy was indeed negative. All 26 scientists unanimously approved the findings.

In a previous article, Prof. Pimentel conducted a review of reports that indicate that producing ethanol from corn yields a positive energy return (Pimentel, 2003). Prof. Pimentel found that these reports omitted many inputs in the production process. A recent study by the US Department of Agriculture has indicated a net positive energy return of 67% (Shapouri et al., 2004). However, this study omits several inputs such as the energy required to produce (and repair) the farm machinery such as tractors, planters, sprayers, and harvesters; as well as the machinery used for grinding, fermentation, and distillation. This led to an under-reporting of the energy required to grow the corn and process the starch into ethanol.

Conclusion

Canadian policy makers have justified using Canadians’ money to subsidize the ethanol industry by claiming that using ethanol for fuel will help prevent “climate change.” Natural Resources Canada reports that gasoline blended with 10 % ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 3% to 8% depending on the type of biomass used in the ethanol production (NRCAN, 2004). However, once one considers the entire production process (not just the final combustion), ethanol may produce more greenhouse gases than gasoline alone. By citing the environmental benefits of consuming ethanol without accounting for its total energy requirement from production through consumption, policy makers are deceiving Canadians about the true cost to the environment of using ethanol. As a net energy loser, ethanol will do little to help Canada meet its Kyoto goals and may, in fact, do the opposite.

Jeremy Brown is a Policy Analyst in the Centre for Studies in Risk, Regulation, and Environment at The Fraser Institute, and manager of CANSTATS

References

EARB (1980). Gasohol. Energy Research Advisory Board, US Department of Energy, Washington, DC

EARB (1981). Biomass Energy. Energy Research Advisory Board, US Department of Energy, Washington, DC

NRCAN (2004). Ethanol: The Road to a Greener Future. Office of Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Canada

Pimentel, D. (2003). “Thanol Fuels: Energy Balance, Economics, and Environmental Impacts are Negative.” Natural Resources Research 2, 2: 127-34.

Pimentel, D., and Tad Patzek (2005). “Ethanol Production Using Corn, Switchgrass, and Wood; Biodiesel Production Using Soybean and Sunflower.” Natural Resources Research 14, 1 (March): 65-76.

Shapouri, H., J. Diffield, A. McAloon, and M. Wang (2004). The 2001 Net Energy Balance of Corn-Ethanol (Preliminary). US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
 
 

 

UC scientist says ethanol uses more energy than it makes
A lot of fossil fuels go into producing the gas substitute

Elizabeth Svoboda, Special to The Chronicle

Monday, June 27, 2005

Ethanol, touted as an alternative fuel of the future, may eat up far more energy during its creation than it winds up giving back, according to research by a UC Berkeley scientist that raises questions about the nation's move toward its widespread use.

A clean-burning fuel produced from renewable crops like corn and sugarcane, ethanol has long been a cornerstone of some national lawmakers' efforts to clear the air and curb dependence on foreign oil. California residents use close to a billion gallons of the alcohol-based fuel per year.

But in a recent issue of the journal Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, UC Berkeley geoengineering professor Tad Patzek argued that up to six times more energy is used to make ethanol than the finished fuel actually contains.

The fossil energy expended during production alone, he concluded, easily outweighs the consumable energy in the end product. As a result, Patzek believes that those who think using the "green" fuel will reduce fossil fuel consumption are deluding themselves -- and the federal government's practice of subsidizing ethanol by offering tax exemptions to oil refiners who buy it is a waste of money.

"People tend to think of ethanol and see an endless cycle: corn is used to produce ethanol, ethanol is burned and gives off carbon dioxide, and corn uses the carbon dioxide as it grows," he said. "But that isn't the case. Fossil fuel actually drives the whole cycle."

Patzek's investigation into the energy dynamics of ethanol production began two years ago, when he had the students in his Berkeley freshman seminar calculate the fuel's energy balance as a class exercise.

Once the class took into account little-considered inputs like fossil fuels and other energy sources used to extrude alcohol from corn, produce fertilizers and insecticides, transport crops and dispose of wastewater, they determined that ethanol contains 65 percent less usable energy than is consumed in the process of making it.

Surprised at the results, Patzek began an exhaustive analysis of his own -- one that painted an even bleaker picture of the ethanol industry's long-term sustainability.

"Taking grain apart, fermenting it, distilling it and extruding it uses a lot of fossil energy," he said. "We are grasping at the solution that is by far the least efficient."

Patzek's report also highlights the potential environmental hazards of ethanol production.

"When you dump nitrogen fertilizer on corn fields, it runs away as surface water, into the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico," he said.

The excess nitrogen introduced into the water causes out-of-control algae growth, creating an oxygen-poor "dead zone" where other marine plants and animals cannot survive. And while ethanol produces fewer carbon monoxide emissions than regular gasoline, some researchers have found that ethanol releases high levels of nitrogen oxide, one of the principal ingredients of smog, when burned.

Ethanol has long been touted not just for its promise as a renewable fuel, but for its usefulness as a gasoline additive. Fossil fuels blended with it produce fewer carbon monoxide emissions than regular gasoline and have a higher octane rating, meaning they burn more evenly and are less likely to cause engine knocking. While most gasoline sold in the United States now contains approximately 5 percent ethanol, some cars -- such as the Ford Explorer and Chevy Silverado -- can run on fuel blends containing up to 85 percent.

Though his work has been vetted by several peer-reviewed scientific journals, Patzek has had to deflect criticism from a variety of sources. David Morris, an economist and vice president of the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance, has attacked the Berkeley professor's analysis because he says it is based on farming and production practices that are rapidly becoming obsolete.

"His figures (regarding energy consumed in fertilizer production) are accurate for older nitrogen fertilizer plants, but newer plants use only half the energy of those that were built 35 years ago," he said. He also cited the increasing popularity of no-till farming methods, which can reduce a corn farm's diesel usage by 75 percent. "With hydrogen fuel, people are willing to say, '25 years from now it will be good.' Why can't we also be forward-looking when it comes to ethanol?"

Hosein Shapouri, an economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has also cracked down on Patzek's energy calculations.

"It's true that the original ethanol plants in the 1970s went bankrupt. But Patzek doesn't consider the impact new, more efficient production technologies have had on the ethanol industry," he said.

Shapouri's most recent analysis, which the USDA published in 2004, comes to the exact opposite conclusion of Patzek's: Ethanol, he said, has a positive energy balance, containing 67 percent more energy than is used to manufacture it. Optimistic that the process will become even more efficient in the future, he pointed out that scientists are experimenting with using alternative sources like solid waste, grass and wood to make ethanol. If successful on a large scale, these techniques could drastically reduce the amount of fossil fuel needed for ethanol production.

Other contributors to the debate argue that ethanol's net energy balance should not be the sole consideration when policymakers are evaluating its usefulness -- factors like the fuel's portability and lower carbon monoxide emissions need to be considered as well.

"So what if we have to spend 2 BTUs for each BTU of alcohol fuel produced?" reads an editorial in the Offgrid Online energy newsletter. "Since we are after a portable fuel, we might be willing to spend more energy to get it."

Cornell University ecology Professor David Pimentel, however, sides with Patzek, calling production of ethanol "subsidized food burning."

"The USDA isn't looking at factors like the energy it takes to maintain farm machinery and irrigate fields in their analysis," he said, adding that the agency's ethanol report contains overly optimistic assumptions about the efficiency of farming practices. "The bottom line is that we're using far more energy in making ethanol than we're getting out."

Patzek thinks lawmakers and environmental activists need to push ethanol aside and concentrate on more sustainable solutions like improving the efficiency of fuel cells and hybrid electric cars or harnessing solar energy for use in transport. If they don't, he predicts economics will eventually force the issue.

"If government funds become short, subsidies for fuels will be looked at very carefully," he said. "When they are, there's no way ethanol production can survive."

Page A - 4

 

Cornell University News Service

 

05.07.2005 

Ethanol and biodiesel from crops not worth the energy


Turning plants such as corn, soybeans and sunflowers into fuel uses much more energy than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates, according to a new Cornell University and University of California-Berkeley study.

"There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel," says David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell. "These strategies are not sustainable."

Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Berkeley, conducted a detailed analysis of the energy input-yield ratios of producing ethanol from corn, switch grass and wood biomass as well as for producing biodiesel from soybean and sunflower plants. Their report is published in Natural Resources Research (Vol. 14:1, 65-76).

In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, the study found that:

  • corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
  • switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
  • wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for biodiesel production, the study found that:

  • soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and
  • sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

In assessing inputs, the researchers considered such factors as the energy used in producing the crop (including production of pesticides and fertilizer, running farm machinery and irrigating, grinding and transporting the crop) and in fermenting/distilling the ethanol from the water mix. Although additional costs are incurred, such as federal and state subsidies that are passed on to consumers and the costs associated with environmental pollution or degradation, these figures were not included in the analysis.

"The United State desperately needs a liquid fuel replacement for oil in the near future," says Pimentel, "but producing ethanol or biodiesel from plant biomass is going down the wrong road, because you use more energy to produce these fuels than you get out from the combustion of these products."

Although Pimentel advocates the use of burning biomass to produce thermal energy (to heat homes, for example), he deplores the use of biomass for liquid fuel. "The government spends more than $3 billion a year to subsidize ethanol production when it does not provide a net energy balance or gain, is not a renewable energy source or an economical fuel. Further, its production and use contribute to air, water and soil pollution and global warming," Pimentel says. He points out that the vast majority of the subsidies do not go to farmers but to large ethanol-producing corporations.

"Ethanol production in the United States does not benefit the nation’s energy security, its agriculture, economy or the environment," says Pimentel. "Ethanol production requires large fossil energy input, and therefore, it is contributing to oil and natural gas imports and U.S. deficits." He says the country should instead focus its efforts on producing electrical energy from photovoltaic cells, wind power and burning biomass and producing fuel from hydrogen conversion.

Weitere Informationen: www.cornell.edu

Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences
  Publisher:  Taylor & Francis
  Issue:  Volume 23, Number 6 / November-December 2004
  Pages:  519 - 567
  URL:  Linking Options
  DOI:  10.1080/07352680490886905

Thermodynamics of the Corn-Ethanol Biofuel Cycle

Tad W. Patzek A1 CORR1

A1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 210 Ericsson Building, MC 1716, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

Abstract:

This article defines sustainability and sustainable cyclic processes, and quantifies the degree of non-renewability of a major biofuel: ethanol produced from industrially grown corn. It demonstrates that more fossil energy is used to produce ethanol from corn than the ethanol's calorific value. Analysis of the carbon cycle shows that all leftovers from ethanol production must be returned back to the fields to limit the irreversible mining of soil humus.Thus, production of ethanol from whole plants is unsustainable. In 2004, ethanol production from corn will generate 8 million tons of incremental CO2, over and above the amount of CO2generated by burning gasoline with 115%of the calorific value of this ethanol. It next calculates the cumulative exergy (available free energy) consumed in corn farming and ethanol production, and estimates the minimum amount of work necessary to restore the key non-renewable resources consumed by the industrial corn-ethanol cycle. This amount of work is compared with the maximum useful work obtained from the industrial corn-ethanol cycle. It appears that if the corn-ethanol exergy is used to power a car engine, the minimum restoration work is about 6 times the maximum useful work from the cycle. This ratio drops down to 2 if an ideal fuel cell is used to process the ethanol. The article estimates the U.S. taxpayer subsidies of the industrial corn-ethanol cycle at$3.8 billion in 2004. The parallel subsidies by the environment are estimated at$1.8 billion in 2004. The latter estimate will increase manifold when the restoration costs of aquifers, streams, and rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico are also included. Finally, the article estimates that (per year and unit area) the inefficient solar cells produce∼100 times more electricity than corn ethanol. There is a need for more reliance on sunlight, the only source of renewable energy on the earth.

Keywords:

biofuel, ethanol, fossil fuels, corn, sustainability, thermodynamics, energy, entropy, exergy, solar

The references of this article are secured to subscribers.

 

Ethanol Fuels: Energy Balance, Economics, and Environmental Impacts are Negative
D Pimentel - Natural Resources and Research, 2003 - kluweronline.com
... 12, No. 2, June 2003 ( C 2003) Ethanol Fuels: Energy Balance, Economics, ... Ethanol
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AF EDERAL Ethanol Mandate: Is IT Worth IT? If Not, Why IS It SO Popular?
M McCormick, S Freifeld, L Kiesling - rppi.org
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Ethanol use in US gasoline should be banned, not expanded
C Hodge - Oil & Gas Journal, 2002 - acfa.ws
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COMMENT: More evidence mounts for banning, not expanding, use of ethanol in US gasoline
MB CARFG - calgasoline.com
... the 2003 dry mill ethanol energy balance derived by David Pimentel ... Mandating more
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Ethanol from Corn: Clean Renewable Fuel for the Future, or Drain on Our Resources and Pockets?
TW Patzek, CEFS Students - wcpn.org
... Keywords: carbon dioxide, corn, ethanol, energy balance, fuel, nitrate, oxygenate,
pollution, sequestration ... Estimating the Net Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol ...
Cited by 2 - View as HTML - Web Search - ce.berkeley.edu - energyjustice.net - petroleum.berkeley.edu

 

 

Tax exemption for biofuels in Germany: is bio-ethanol really an option for climate policy?
JM Henke, G Klepper, N Schmitz - 2003 - iiasa.ac.at
... of Environmental and Resource Economics Düsternbrooker Weg ... for the production of
bio-ethanol shows better ... older studies the net energy balance for wheat even ...
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Ethanol Fuel from Sugar Cane in Brazil
HS Geller - Annual Review of Energy, 1985 - soc.annualreviews.org
... argue about the "real cost" ethanol production from ... food production, showing a negative
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Biomass for biofuel isn't worth it

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