USDA Reports Ethanol has Positive Energy Benefits

The United States Department of Agriculture Office of Energy Policy and New Uses released a new report stating the “overwhelmingly positive energy benefits of ethanol.”
The report reads, “A dry grind ethanol plant that produces and sells dry distiller’s grains and uses a conventional fossil fuel power for thermal energy and electricity producers nearly two times more energy in the form of ethanol delivered to customers than it uses for corn, processing and transpiration.”
The Renewable Fuels Association said depending on the method used for co-product energy allocation, one unit of fossil energy input used in the production of corn ethanol results in 1.9 to 2.3 units of energy output.
The report also reads that the new estimate of net energy ration is higher than the USDA’s past estimate of one unit of fossil energy resulting in 1.77 units of ethanol energy. Calculations from the Renewable Fuels Association show that the average dry mill produces 2.1-2.6 net energy ratio.
The report is drawn based on date from a corn production survey conducted in 2005 and a survey of dry mill ethanol plants in 2008 by the National Agricultural Marketing Association.
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