[Plant-education] bioethanol

David Alan Walker via plant-ed%40net.bio.net (by d.a.walker At sheffield.ac.uk)
Fri Jan 5 16:00:03 EST 2007

Agricultural food production in the UK is reckoned to be about the most
efficient (yields per acre) in the 'Western World'. Yet, if all of the sums
are done, it turns out that there is no net energy gain. It is, in fact, "a
very inefficient way of turning oil in to potatoes". Where does this leave
bioethanol production from conventional and unconventional crops?

Clearly many of the inputs are about the same but then there is the
additional, inescapable energy cost of distillation. O.K., distillation
processes are more energy efficient than they were a few decades ago but,
in the end, there is no way round the laws of physics. Does any one have
itemised details of the energy inputs involved ?

Many thanks,


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