Less is still more when it comes to biofuel

Less is still more when it comes to biofuel
October 13, 2016 GLN Editor

Everything you’ve heard is true: Compared with fossil fuels, burning biofuels releases fewer greenhouse gases. But what you might not know is that producing the cleaner-burning fuel also requires a lot of water.

Take corn-based ethanol, for example, which is what we’ve historically seen at the pump. Grasses generally need less water to grow since you can plant a varied and more resilient crop.

But Carey King of the University of Texas at Austin says the mixed materials are more challenging to refine, so they have their own drawbacks.

Research is now focusing on making biofuel from algae that can grow in wastewater, but she says protecting the environment still means using less fuel of any kind.

“Biofuels, like many technologies, are no panacea,” he adds.

One way to avoid the whole dilemma, at least sometimes: Break out your comfy shoes and hoof it whenever possible.

By Current Cast


Detroit Public Television’s documentary The Ethanol Effect airs on Channel 56.1 in the Detroit Metro area this Monday night at 10pm Eastern Standard Time. You can also view it now by clicking here. 

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