More on Corn to Ethanol | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 11 | p. 6 | Letters
Issue Date: March 17, 2008

More on Corn to Ethanol

Department: Letters

Many articles have been written on the energy required to convert corn into ethanol, yet the various authors miss the real point. According to data from the government, the U.S. used 138 billion gal of gasoline in 2006. The best estimate for corn-to-ethanol conversion will be 11 billion to 15 billion gal per year. There is no way the U.S. can eliminate its dependence on oil for powering its automobiles.

This amount of ethanol can be produced with minimal impact on agribusiness, but it will amount to less than 10% of the country's need. The total amount of biomass could add another 5 billion to 10 billion gal of ethanol to the pipeline, but these fuels will be in niche markets, not mainstream.

Gerald Roye
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Chemical & Engineering News
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