Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ethanol has a Role in Our Energy Future

John Frey, dean of the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology at Minnesota State University, Mankato authored an informative essay regarding the pros and cons of using ethanol as a transportation fuel.

Some key points worth pointing out:
  • The scientists of this article cited several published studies with only the Pimentel and Patzel showing negative data.
  • The study reported that cur­rent ethanol produced from convention­ally grown corn produces slightly fewer greenhouse gases than using gasoline, but the production of ethanol requires much less petroleum inputs.
  • Renewable fuel factors into U.S. ener­gy policy in three ways: 1) reduction of greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming; 2) independ­ence from foreign oil; and 3) use of water in the process­ing/ manufacturing of ethanol.

The Science report puts current ethanol production as a positive net equivalency.

Finally he concludes that "Sitting on the sidelines will not work as we move through the greatest paradigm shift of our century — seeking energy with a reduced carbon footprint. With no action, renewable energy will have ownership in other continents like Europe and Asia."

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