University of Nebraska at Lincoln researcher Kenneth Cassman concluded in a upcoming study that ethanol production has become more energy efficient.
“Recent research conducted at the University of Nebraska clearly shows that estimates for the energy balance of corn-based ethanol are much more favorable – in fact two to three times more favorable, than previous estimates,” Cassman said. “That's because most of the published values for energy efficiency of corn-ethanol are ‘backward looking’ in the sense they evaluated older technologies with regard to energy use in corn production, the biorefinery, and co-product utilization.”
The study also addresses how much petroleum is needed to produce a given quantuty of ethanol.
Using dated information simply doesn’t work in a world where the technology and efficiency of corn and ethanol production are rapidly improving over the years,” he said. “Moreover, if the goal is to reduce dependence on imported oil, we estimate that 13 gallons of ethanol are produced for every gallon of petroleum used in the production lifecycle for corn ethanol.”
The study has been submitted to be published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.
Source : Clean Air Choice