New Research: Ethanol IS Efficient

An upcoming study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln debunks previous negative research about the energy efficiency of ethanol production.

According to the Cattle Network, the results of the researchvconducted by Kenneth Cassman at the university’s Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research have been submitted to the Jounral of Industrial Ecology.

"’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," according to Cattle Network. "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.”

According to Todd Neeley, DTN ethanol reporter, Cornell University professor David Pimentel raised the ire of the ethanol industry in 2001 when he published research that said that ethanol actually has a negative energy balance.” In his analysis, Pimentel said that making 1 gallon of ethanol results in a net energy loss of 54,000 British thermal units. His work since has been refuted by more than one scientist,” Neeley says.

(Sources: Cattle Network; DTN)

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