Article: Researchers Identify Energy Gains And Environmental Impacts Of Corn Ethanol And Soybean Biodiesel
The amount of energy each returns differs greatly, however. Soybean biodiesel returns 93 percent more energy than is used to produce it, while corn grain ethanol currently provides only 25 percent more energy.
Still, the researchers caution that neither biofuel can come close to meeting the growing demand for alternatives to petroleum. Dedicating all current U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12 percent of gasoline demand and 6 percent of diesel demand. Meanwhile, global population growth and increasingly affluent societies will increase demand for corn and soybeans for food.
The authors showed that the environmental impacts of the two biofuels also differ. Soybean biodiesel produces 41 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel fuel whereas corn grain ethanol produces 12 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline.
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