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The Problems With Ethanol

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Did you know…

  • Ethanol has a negative energy balance. Ethanol from corn, switchgrass, and wood biomass requires 29%, 50%, and 57% more energy, respectively, to create the ethanol than the energy contained within the fuel.
  • Because ethanol production requires a significant amount of energy, and most energy in the US is produced from coal, the small reduction in CO2 and other polluting emissions from burning ethanol versus gasoline will be more than offset by the power needed to produce the ethanol.
  • Ethanol crops have a notoriously low energy yield per hectare. Thus, it requires a large amount of land to produce a meaningful amount of ethanol. Last year, 20% of the total corn crop was used to produce ethanol, and it offset only 1% of US oil use.

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