You get more out of ethanol than you put in, . .
Only if you farm the original corn using mules instead of tractors. There was a recent article posted from Popular Mechanics, and it discussed the refining cost only (energy cost) and did indeed show a small, but net energy gain. However, if you add in the fuel required to plant, cultivate, and pick the corn, you end up with a net loss of energy.
posted on 04/27/2006 11:52:42 AM PDT
The Popular Mechanics article was actually pretty accurate on its energy conversion ratio. The positive energy balance includes all costs of production of the corn crop.
Do you have a link to this article? In their issue "The Truth about Biofuels", they report that "Cynics claim that it takes more energy to grow corn and distill it into alcohol than you can get out of the alcohol. However, according to the DOE, the growing, fermenting and distillation chain actually results in a surplus of energy that ranges from 34 to 66 percent." It seems that that includes these other costs.
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