Cellulosic Ethanol Good for the Environment?

Normally articles talk about how bad Cellulosic ethanol is for the environment, including its degradation of forests, releasing more greenhouse gases than petroleum-based fuel etc. However this article mentions the good side of cellulosic ethanol compared to corn ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel produced from lignincellulose which consists of most of the plants biomass, some examples of cellulosic plants: corn stover, switchgrass, miscanthus,woodchips etc. Corn ethanol is produced from corn as a biomass through industrial fermentation, chemical processing, and distillation. This article begins with mentioning the EPA and how their scientists feel that cellulosic biofuels will actually improve air quality. Further this article shows a graph between corn ethanol and cellulosic ethanol and the amount of greenhouse gases each one emits. Corn ethanol is 2-3 times higher than the emissions of cellulosic ethanol. This article continues comparing corn ethanol and cellulosic ethanol in environmental health costs and figured out that gasoline total environmental health cost is 71 cents per gallon and corn ethanol fuel costs 72 cents to $1.45 a gallon. However cellulosic ethanol only costs about 19 cents to 32 cents, depending on the technology used to produce it. Clearly corn ethanol is more expensive and detrimental to the environment than cellulosic ethanol and this article adequately portrays this by graphs and precise numbers to make this comparison easily noticable.


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