A blow to corn-based biofuels

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a 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 published 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.

Biofuels are better in the long run, but 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 what are known as 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 called the research flawed. They said that it was too simplistic in its analysis of carbon loss from soil, which can vary over a single field, and that it vastly overestimated how much residue farmers would remove once the market gets underway.

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

OMNISTAR GAS ANALYZER - Fast accurate analysis from % to sub-ppm in a compact, turnkey benchtop system.

OMNISTAR GAS ANALYZER - Fast accurate analysis from % to sub-ppm in a compact, turnkey benchtop system.

The Pfeiffer Vacuum OmniStar benchtop analysis system offers you a compact footprint, powerful software and Ethernet connectivity. It's the optimum solution for many real-time gas analysis applications. With the OmniStar, Pfeiffer Vacuum offers you a complete solution for gas analysis, in chemical processes, semiconductor industry, metallurgy, fermentation, catalysis, laser technology and environmental analysis. The turnkey OmniStar gas analysis system consists of heated, temperature-regulated gas inlet system, Quadrupole mass spectrometer, a dry diaphragm vacuum pump and HiPace turbopump. Unlike competing methods such as FTIR, OmniStar is suitable for qualitative and quantitative analysis of most gases.