|Facts about ethanol, much better than biodiesel from soybean
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|Författare:||karlmb [ tor 09-02-12 23:09 ]|
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Ethanol facts at a glance - National Geographic’s Biofuel Interactive
Posted by Marlo on October 18, 2007
The October 2007 issue of National Geographic has an information-packed article about ethanol (”Green Dreams,” by Joel K. Bourne, Jr.). The magazine’s Web site also has an interactive biofuel page summarizing key facts about gasoline, corn ethanol, cane ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, and algae ethanol. Some highlights:
* In July 2007, the retail price per gallon of gasoline in the U.S. was $3.03 compared to $2.62 for corn ethanol. However, to get the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, corn ethanol cost $3.71.
* In June 2007, the retail price per gallon of gasoline in Brazil was $4.91 compared to $2.92 for sugarcane ethanol. To get the energy equivalent of a gallon of gas, sugarcane ethanol cost $3.88. National Geographic does not explain why gasoline is so expensive in Brazil. As Jerry Taylor noted in a lecture available elsewhere on Facts About Ethanol, Brazil imposes a “steep tax” on gasoline. This raises the question: Could ethanol compete with gasoline, even in Brazil, on a truly level playing field?
* In June 2007, in Germany, the retail price per gallon of biodiesel from canola oil was $6.80 compared to $6.18 for diesel.
* Cellulosic ethanol is “still in development; no current [commercial] production.”
* An acre of corn produces around 300 gallons of ethanol a year; an acre of soybeans, about 60 gallons of biodiesel a year. In contrast, an acre of algae theoretically can produce 5,000 gallons of ethanol a year, because the algae can be harvested every day. As with cellulosic ethanol, the critical challenge is to reduce the cost below that of petroleum. States Marcus Gay, an algae-ethanol entrepreneur: “At the end of the day for this to work, this has to be cheaper than petroleum diesel. If we’re one penny over the cost of diesel per gallon, we’re sunk.”
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