Ethanol myth shattered: Corn biofuels release more greenhouse gases than gasoline

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
600 strains of an aerosolized thought control vaccine already tested on humans; deployed via air, food and water
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
The 21 curious questions we're never allowed to ask about vaccines
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
Whooping cough outbreak at Massachusetts high school affected only vaccinated students

(NaturalNews) Corn-derived biofuels release even more greenhouse gases than conventional gasoline, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change on April 20.

The $500,000 study, which was funded by the federal government, is expected to be a setback for the Obama administration's plan to promote such biofuels as a way to meet renewable energy targets set in a 2007 energy law.

The law originally set a target of 1.75 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuel production for 2014, and the federal government has doled out more than a billion dollars in subsidies toward this goal. Yet the industry is so far behind that last year, the EPA suggested revising the target downward for the fifth time, this time to 17 million gallons.

The new study may be a further blow to the industry. If cellulosic biofuels - which are mostly derived by collecting and processing the scraps left behind in corn fields after harvest - lose their definition as a cleaner fuel, they will no longer qualify for a $1 per gallon federal production subsidy. The loss of this subsidy might remove the entire profit margin from producing these energy-intensive fuels. Furthermore, refineries seeking to meet their renewable fuels targets under the 2007 law would not want to buy cellulosic biofuels, making them even less profitable.

And while the new study suggested that cellulosic biofuels may be cleaner than gasoline in the long term, these benefits would not appear soon enough to meet the 2014 targets.

Worse than gasoline

The new study is among the first to seek to quantify the greenhouse gas effects of removing the leftovers of corn harvests to turn them into biofuels. Normally, these leftovers would be allowed to decompose in the field, returning their carbon to the soil where it would be locked away. When the leftovers are turned into biofuels and burned, that carbon enters the atmosphere instead.

The study, which was conducted in 12 separate Corn Belt states, found that in the short term, corn-derived cellulosic biofuels release 7 percent more greenhouse gases than conventional gasoline.

The Obama administration and the biofuels industry immediately pushed back at the study, accusing the researchers of overestimating how much residue would actually be collected from corn fields. Yet the study actually did look at differing rates of residue harvest and found that no matter how much residue was left behind in the field, the use of corn-derived cellulosic biofuels still had a negative effect on the climate.

Biofuel supporters use shady data

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), meanwhile, objected that its own analysis had found that corn residue fuels would indeed meet the 2007 energy standards, requiring biofuels to release 60 percent less carbon than gasoline. But an Associated Press investigation has revealed that the EPA's analysis was flawed, and failed to take true environmental consequences into account.

Supporters of corn residue biofuels also pointed to a 2012 study conducted by the Department of Energy, which found that the fuels released 95 percent less carbon than conventional gasoline. Yet that study assumed that much of the benefit would come from the fuels being used to generate electricity as a replacement for coal, a scenario that remains hypothetical.

"I knew this research would be contentious," said lead author Adam Liska of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "I'm amazed it has not come out more solidly until now."

Biofuel emissions researcher, David Tilman of the University of Minnesota, who was not involved in the new study, called it the best he has seen so far.

"The study says it will be very hard to make a biofuel that has a better greenhouse gas impact than gasoline using corn residue," he said.

Sources for this article include:

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.