Ethanol Can Contribute to Energy and Environmental Goals

  title={Ethanol Can Contribute to Energy and Environmental Goals},
  author={Alex Farrell and Richard J. Plevin and Brian T. Turner and Andrew D. Jones and Michael O'hare and Daniel M. Kammen},
  pages={506 - 508}
To study the potential effects of increased biofuel use, we evaluated six representative analyses of fuel ethanol. Studies that reported negative net energy incorrectly ignored coproducts and used some obsolete data. All studies indicated that current corn ethanol technologies are much less petroleum-intensive than gasoline but have greenhouse gas emissions similar to those of gasoline. However, many important environmental effects of biofuel production are poorly understood. New metrics that… 

Sugarcane and Ethanol Production and Carbon Dioxide Balances

Ethanol fuel has been considered lately an efficient option for reducing greenhouse gases emissions. Brazil has now more than 30 years of experience with large-scale ethanol production. With

Environmental Issues in the Liquid Biofuels Industry

Although biofuels have the potential to supplement conventional petroleum fuels in a variety of energy applications, and as transport fuels in particular, their use also poses some problems from an

Bioenergy Research Needs for Heat, Electricity, and Liquid Fuels

Biomass remains a key energy source for several billion people living in developing countries, and the production of liquid biofuels for transportation is growing rapidly. However, both traditional

Physical Energy Accounting in California: A Case Study of Cellulosic Ethanol Production

California's target for greenhouse gas reduction in part relies on the development of viable low-carbon fuel alternatives to gasoline. It is often assumed that cellulosic ethanol--ethanol made from

Algae biodiesel has potential despite inconclusive results to date.

Environmental Consequences of Ethanol from Corn Grain, Ethanol from Lignocellulosic Biomass, and Conventional Gasoline

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 includes a provision designed to double the production and use of ethanol in fuels by 2012, and that beginning in 2013, a minimum of 250 million gallons per year of

Life cycle energy and greenhouse gas analysis for agave-derived bioethanol

The sustainability of large-scale biofuel production has recently been called into question in view of mounting concerns over the associated impact on land and water resources. As the most

Toward nitrogen neutral biofuel production.

A Review of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Bioethanol from Lignocellulosic Biomass

Liquid biofuels are widely recognized alternatives to fossil fuel not only to combat the global warming potential, but also to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels to facilitate economic development.




Studies conducted since the late 1970s have estimated the net energy value (NEV) of corn ethanol. However, variations in data and assumptions used among the studies have resulted in a wide range of

The Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol: An Update

Studies conducted since the late 1970s have estimated the net energy value (NEV) of corn ethanol. However, variations in data and assumptions used among the studies have resulted in a wide range of

Thermodynamics of the Corn-Ethanol Biofuel Cycle

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


The United States is responsible for about 25% of the world's total carbon emissions, and Americans' per capita emissions are five times the world average. A major source of carbon emissions is the

Biomass as Feedstock for A Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry: The Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are both strongly committed to expanding the role of biomass as an energy source. In particular, they support biomass

Gasohol: Does It or Doesn't It Produce Positive Net Energy?

A detailed analysis of energy inputs and outputs is performed on grain-based gasohol, finding that it is an unambiguous energy producer since most energy inputs to the process can be supplied by nonpetroleum sources such as coal.

Ethanol Production Using Corn, Switchgrass, and Wood; Biodiesel Production Using Soybean and Sunflower

Energy outputs from ethanol produced using corn, switchgrass, and wood biomass were each less than the respective fossil energy inputs. The same was true for producing biodiesel using soybeans and

Allocation procedure in ethanol production system from corn grain i. system expansion

We investigated the system expansion approach to net energy analysis for ethanol production from domestic corn grain. Production systems included in this study are ethanol production from corn dry