ADVERTISEMENT
2 /3 FREE ARTICLES LEFT THIS MONTH Remaining
Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.

If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.

ENJOY UNLIMITED ACCES TO C&EN

Environment

Reconsidering Ethanol

April 28, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 17

The Patent Picks item “From Cellulosic Ethanol to Butanol” begins with the statement, “Blending ethanol into gasoline oxygenates the fuel, reduces pollution, and stretches petroleum supplies” (C&EN, Feb. 24, page 39). This statement is wrong on two counts.

First, ethanol-containing fuel may create less pollution per gallon of fuel burned, but because it requires more fuel to drive 1 mile, it actually calculates to create more pollution per mile driven.

Second, numerous studies show the total energy required to grow the corn, convert it to ethanol, transport it to the refiners, and blend it into the fuel is greater than the energy generated. So we actually end up having to import more petroleum when using ethanol in gasoline than when using straight gasoline.

Your statements are commonly made by the businesses that benefit from the ethanol and corn business, but I would hope a science magazine would get the science right.

David Berkebile
Landenberg, Pa.

X

Article:

This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment