Varying Views on Ethanol Efficiency

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The March 25 Post contained an interesting dissonance.

An Outlook article about biofuels by David Tilman and Jason Hill ["Corn Can't Solve Our Problem"] pointed out that in assessing the efficiency of using corn to produce ethanol, one must count the " 'old' fossil energy it takes to make it: diesel to run tractors, natural gas to make fertilizer and, of course, fuel to run the refineries that convert corn to ethanol."

The net effect is to add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

In Style, an article about the DuPont Co. chemical engineer who is also the reigning Miss Delaware ["Beauty and the Beaker"] tells us that one of DuPont's key research projects is turning corn into fuel.

Jamie Ginn's assignment is "to perform a life-cycle assessment measuring the economic and environmental impacts of biofuels from harvest to hot rod."

All fuel consumption related to growing corn is ignored.

I hope the Outlook article's authors can get their message across to DuPont et al. before we wind up adding to greenhouse gas levels by pushing biofuel made from corn.

PATRICIA H. VANDERSLICE

Cobb Island, Md.


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