[permaculture] Study: Ethanol won't solve energy problems - Yahoo! News

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Mon Jul 10 23:13:47 EDT 2006

Study: Ethanol won't solve energy problems

By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer Mon Jul 10, 5:00 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Ethanol is far from a cure-all for the nation's energy problems. It's not as environmentally friendly as 
some supporters claim and would supply only 12 percent of U.S. motoring fuel — even if every acre of corn were used.

A number of researchers, the latest in a report Monday, are warning about exaggerated expectations that ethanol could 
dramatically change America's dependence on foreign oil by shifting motorists away from gasoline.

As far as alternative fuels are concerned, biodiesel from soybeans is the better choice compared with corn-produced 
ethanol, University of Minnesota researchers concluded in an analysis Monday.

But "neither can replace much petroleum without impacting food supplies," the researchers concluded in the paper 
published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences.

The paper said development of nonfood materials such as switchgrass, prairie grasses and woody plants to produce 
cellulosic ethanol would be a major improvement with greater energy output and lower environmental impacts.


On the Net:

Renewable Fuels Association: http://www.ethanolrfa.org/

National Corn Growers Association: http://www.ncga.com

After publication, research paper will be available at: http://www.pnas.org

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