Ethanol Fuel More Advantageous Than Thought Bjorn Carey Date...

Wapsuiv - March 28 2011, 6:58 PM

Ethanol Fuel More Advantageous Than Thought
Bjorn Carey

Date: 26 January 2006 Time: 09:01 AM ET
Producing a gallon of ethanol gas from corn requires 95 percent less petroleum than producing a gallon from fossil fuels, a new study finds.

This method might also slightly reduce the production of greenhouse gases that speed up global warming, but the results on that point are not certain.

"It is better to use various inputs to grow corn and make ethanol and use that in your cars than it is to use the gasoline and fossil fuels directly," said Daniel Kammen of the University of California, Berkeley.

Ethanol could be even more energy efficient and 95 percent free of greenhouse gas emissions, Kammen said, if produced from woody plants instead of corn.
The study is detailed in the Jan. 27 issue of the journal Science.

Booze it up
Ethanol is produced by bacteria that ferment and break down carbohydrate sugars, such as the starch from corn. Humans have been fine-tuning this process for thousands of years, although mainly to brew alcoholic beverages.

The study refined results from several previous studies by comparing the total energy that goes into making ethanol gas from corn, such as harvesting and refining, and comparing it to the energy needed to produce gasoline from fossil fuels.

Kammen's team looked into levels of greenhouse gases produced by both the production and the use of each fuel.
They found inconsistencies and errors in the previous work, which had suggested ethanol gas might not be beneficial.

After correcting the errors

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