July 26, 2010

New perspectives on the energy return on (energy) investment (EROI) of corn ethanol

This is the title of a new report published July 11, 2010 in the Journal of Environment, Development and Sustainability. The paper was written by David J. Murphy, Charles A. S. Hall and Bobby Powers of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse.

Over the past decade there has been considerable debate on corn ethanol, most focused on whether it is a net energy yielder. The argument is generally that “if the Energy Return on Investment (EROI) of corn ethanol is positive then it should be pursued.

This report concludes that corn ethanol is not sustainable, requiring more resources than it produces.

“In light of this work, we conclude that production of corn ethanol within the United States is unsustainable and requires energy subsidies from the larger oil economy”

Read the abstract HERE.

Read the Readers Digest condensed version HERE. Be sure to read the comments.


EMSNetwork said...

Will this be the next political football?


Mule Breath said...

Probably not. Politicians want to be seen as doing something. The fact that what they are doing is wasting money and oxygen likely will not figure into the equation. Add to that the ethanol lobby and you have a non-issue.