Study underscores ethanol’s benefits

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WASHINGTON – According to a new analysis issued by the University of California-Berkeley, ethanol made from corn reduces overall petroleum use and leads to reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
The analysis again supports the fact that ethanol is energy efficient and should set the record straight about the misconceptions about the practicality of ethanol production, according to Bruce Noel, National Corn Growers Association Ethanol Committee chairman.
“When compared to conventional gasoline, ethanol is undoubtedly a net energy winner,” Noel said.
Six studies. The analysis, Ethanol Can Contribute To Energy and Environmental Goals, deconstructed six separate high-profile studies, assessed each study’s assumptions and then reanalyzed them after correcting errors, inconsistencies and outdated information.
This information regarded the amount of energy used to grow corn and make ethanol, and the energy output in the form of fuel and corn byproducts.
“Once these changes were made in the six studies, each yielded the same conclusion about energy: Producing ethanol from corn uses much less petroleum than producing gasoline,” the researchers said.
“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 researcher Dan Kammen.
Greenhouse gas. Kammen also noted that ethanol made from corn is better – maybe 10 percent or 15 percent – than gasoline in terms of greenhouse gas production.
“The people who are saying ethanol is bad are just plain wrong. We found unequivocally that it does not take more energy than you get out of the amount of ethanol. So it’s a net good if you grow ethanol and use it,” Kammen said.

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