Monday Moaning

The world is head over heels in love with bio-fuels and fracking. The latter fraught with problems over excessive water use, pollutant chemicals, earthquakes. The former with diverting staple foods to energy.

Now a US government report tells us that bio-fuels may not be all they’re cracked up to be…

Corn biofuels worse than gasoline on global warming in short term – study

• $500,000 study paid for by federal government
• Conclusion: 7% more greenhouse gases in early years

Biofuels made from corn residue have attracted more than $1bn in federal support. Photograph: Marvin Dembinsky Photo Associate/Alamy

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a new study shows, challenging the Obama administration’s conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change.

A $500,000 study – paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change – concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7% more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.

While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won’t meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

The conclusions deal a blow to proponents of cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a billion dollars in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law. About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue.

The biofuel industry and administration officials immediately criticised the research as flawed. They said it was too simplistic in its analysis of carbon loss from soil, which can vary over a single field, and vastly overestimated how much residue farmers actually would remove once the market gets underway.

Read more

Read more

Opinion:

Of course the biofuel industry would be squealing like stuck pigs over this report, because they’re about to be made into bacon.

The report shreds the advantage of biofuels in the short term.

It may mean that governments across the globe have to backpedal in their thinking.

But, of course, we know they won’t.

Advertisements

4 responses to this post.

  1. I have never had a problem with those who repurpose vegetable oil from restaurants and such to fuel their cars, but growing crops for transportation at a time when we need to watch the amount of water we use has never made sense to me. Plus the processing of the corn uses fossil fuels, so where’s the savings?

    Like

    Reply

Be green, say something

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: