More Ethanol Usage May Be Bad for Earth

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., March 11 (UPI) — A Purdue University study suggests the increased use of corn ethanol might boost the Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Professor Thomas Hertel and his five co-authors said their new economic analysis of the effects of increasing use of corn-derived ethanol on greenhouse gas emissions confirms the corn-based biofuel is unlikely to reduce global production of carbon dioxide.


The study focused on how mandated increases in production of the biofuel in the United States will trigger land-use changes domestically and elsewhere. In response to increased demand for corn, the scientists said farmers convert additional land to crops. And that conversion can boost carbon dioxide emissions, the scientists said.

The investigators said their main conclusion is stark: The indirect, market-mediated effects on greenhouse gas emissions “are enough to cancel out the benefits the corn ethanol has on global warming.”

The study appears in the journal BioScience.

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Categorized | Biofuels & Biomass
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