Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Ethanol: A good liquid fuel alternative?
A new study by ecologist David Pimintel at Cornell (shown above) and engineering prof. Tad Patzek of U.C. Berkeley indicates that "There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel....These strategies are not sustainable." Their method involves calculating the energy inputs used in producing fuels from corn, switch grass and other kinds of biomass. On that basis, more energy is expended than produced.
It's been more than more than thirty years since the "energy crisis" of the 1970s and we still have not achieved much clarity about how to evaluate proposals for alternative energy.