ethanol plant

Follow Us On

Solar Energy Articles
Hybrid Car Articles
Ethanol Articles
Alternative Fuel Articles
Oil Articles
Wind Energy Articles
Gas Articles
Energy Articles
Electric Articles
Environmental Articles
Energy Resource Articles

Ethanol is not the answer...yet

In a report released by University of Minnesota researchers, they claim that ethanol would only supply 12.3% of our current consumption of fuel even if every single acre of corn in America was utilized. In addition, they claim that ethanol is not as friendly to the environment as some adherents claim. Ethanol in higher concentrations can cause more smog effect gases and fumes than gasoline currently does.

corn crops for ethanol productionResearchers say that as far as alternative fuels are concerned, biodiesel from soybeans is the best way to go. "We definitely believe that biofuels (such as ethanol) have a significant potential," said Jason Hill, lead author of the University of Minnesota study. He added that ethanol should not be touted as the final answer to all our alternative energy questions. It has potential but as far as supplying our demanding economy, it falls short.

"Ethanol from 300 million acres of switchgrass still could not supply our present gasoline and diesel consumption, which is projected to double by 2025," the researchers, James Jordan and James Powell, wrote in an op-ed article in the Washington Post. "The agricultural effects of such a large-scale program would be devastating."

Ethanol also has some serious environmental problems, including high releases of phosphorous, nitrogen, and pesticides into our water tables and water ways in the form of runoffs from corn fields. So what is the answer? Do we continue to tout ethanol as the answer to our reliance on foreign oil? I think that this is only the start of a long quest to ween ourselves from overseas is too early to say.