Monday, February 02, 2009

California carbon standard problematic for biofuels

As California moves ahead with plans to set auto-mileage standards that exceed the federal standard, it is the state's proposed carbon-fuel standard has the biofuel industry concerned. While the use of biofuels, such as corn ethanol, releases far less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the California standard would include the land used to raise biofuel crops.

"The problem for the biofuel industry is that California officials are including in their calculations the impact of biofuels on land use, on the assumption that using cropland for production of biofuels requires breaking new lands somewhere else to maintain food supplies," reports Philip Brasher of The Des Moines Register. "The theory is that for every additional acre of cropland that's devoted to biofuels in this nation, land must be cleared in Brazil or somewhere else to grow corn or soybeans."

Without land-use considerations, biofuels are an appealing option to burning gasoline. "Corn ethanol would be rated as having two-thirds the carbon emissions of gasoline," said Brooke Coleman, executive director of the New Fuels Alliance, which represents companies developing next-generation biofuels. "But with the land-use analysis included, ethanol comes out slightly worse than gasoline." (Read more)


Unknown said...

Biofuels are not the answer:

Anonymous said...

As I have met with industry leaders along with those working on the ground floor of this industry while developing a market strategy for the ethanol engine projects. I believe the following statements are based on facts.

Ethanol creates American Jobs.
Ethanol can displace oil 2 to 1 by energy content and volume.
Ethanol offers a reduction in emission and green house gases.
Ethanol in higher blends (E15) in non flex vehicles will not hurt the vehicle and on average will not reduce mileage, have studies to show this.
Ethanol does not displace the amount of corn as reported, the amount of protein that remains from the ethanol process is being feed to cattle, dairy and poultry. This amount is displacing over half the market value of corn heading to the ethanol plant verses the original feeding value.
Ethanol does not raise food prices like reported on the news. Less than 17% of corn goes directly to the food industry while speculators in Chicago drove up the commodities just like they did with oil and precious metals.
Ethanol can feed people, new plant designs can separate the protein from the starch prior to the fermentation and allow production of food grade protein. We always hear about diet issues here and abroad, we are a starch rich protein deficient world.
Ethanol does not use vast amounts of water unless you want to figure in the rain, most ethanol plants are zero water discharge with only the cooling towers giving off water vapor for cooling. Look at the water use for refining gasoline.
Ethanol is not responsible for rain forest destruction. There was a 4% reduction in acres of corn planted last year with another reduction forecasted this year. Reports are that vast amounts of rain forest are being harvested for the hard wood while we shut down our forest and subject them to fire.
Ethanol can displace most if not all the oil we import from the middle east. With the combination of corn based, cellulose & wood ethanol production. When we trade with ourselves we have both the product and the money. We need a fair and balanced approach.
Ethanol value can be raised to and above the value of gasoline if the future of ethanol gained its needed review. We can use ethanol more efficiently then current uses today but not when people hear and believe the false claims.
Ethanol can help other third world countries. America dumps our cheap commodities on the world market making it difficult for farmers in S America, Eastern Europe or Africa to be productive or make a living.