(H/T Al fin)
(17 page pdf, for the new study) Improvements in Life Cycle Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Corn-Ethanol
Directeffect GHG emissions were estimated to be equivalent to a 48% to 59% reduction compared to gasoline, a twofold to threefold greater reduction than reported in previous studies. Ethanol-to-petroleum output/input ratios ranged from 10:1 to 13:1 but could be increased to 19:1 if farmers adopted high-yield progressive crop and soil management practices. An advanced closed-loop biorefinery with anaerobic digestion reduced GHG emissions by 67% and increased the net energy ratio to 2.2, from 1.5 to 1.8 for the most common systems. Such improved technologies have the potential to move corn-ethanol closer to the hypothetical performance of cellulosic biofuels. Likewise, the larger GHG reductions estimated in this study allow a greater buffer for inclusion of indirect-effect land-use change emissions while still meeting regulatory GHG reduction targets. These results suggest that corn-ethanol systems have substantially greater potential to mitigate GHG emissions and reduce dependence on imported petroleum for transportation fuels than reported previously.
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