A new US study released has further emphasised the need and benefits of corn ethanol in the nation's fuel supply.
Scientists from Harvard University, Tufts University and Environmental Health & Engineering showed in their report, Carbon Intensity of Corn Ethanol in the United States: State of the Science, corn ethanol reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 46%, compared to petroleum.
“This study underscores what we have known for a long time,” says National Corn Growers Association president John Linder. “Corn farmers continue to use sustainable practices to grow an affordable and abundant crop that is the solution to combating climate issues. This study is another reason why we need to continue moving to higher blends of ethanol as the baseline for the nation's fuel supply.
“Updated analysis such as this reflects changes in corn production that reduce carbon intensity and updated land use data that shows land use is a ‘minor contributor’ to ethanol’s profile.”
Linder added: “Relying on updated data and the best science show ethanol is truly a low carbon fuel, with the potential to become even more low carbon, thanks to how farmers continue to improve corn production practices and increased yields that produce more corn from less land and fewer inputs.”
The study “reviewed well-to-wheel greenhouse gas life cycle analyses for corn ethanol and evaluated models, input data, and results for farming, fuel production, co-product credit, land use change, transport of feedstock and fuel, tailpipe, and denaturant”.
Compared to earlier analyses, recent life cycle analyses for corn ethanol contained updates to modelling systems and data that reflected market-driven changes in corn production that lowered the intensity of fertiliser and fossil fuel use on farms.
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