Ethanol Fuel Energy Balance

Ethanol Fuel Energy Balance

† depending on production method

All biomass needs to go through some of these steps: it needs to be grown, collected, dried, fermented, and burned. All of these steps require resources and an infrastructure. The total amount of energy input into the process compared to the energy released by burning the resulting ethanol fuel is known as the ethanol fuel energy balance (sometimes called "Net energy gain") and studied as part of the wider field of energy economics. Figures compiled in a 2007 National Geographic Magazine article point to modest results for corn ethanol produced in the US: 1 unit of energy input equals 1.3 energy units of corn ethanol energy. The energy balance for sugarcane ethanol produced in Brazil is much more favorable, 1:8. Over the years, however, many reports have been produced with contradicting energy balance estimates. A 2006 University of California Berkeley study, after analyzing six separate studies, concluded that producing ethanol from corn uses marginally less petroleum than producing gasoline.

Read more about Ethanol Fuel Energy Balance:  Energy Balance Reports, Variables, Clean Production Bioethanol

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