Vary­ing Views on Ethanol Ef­fi­ciency

The Washington Post Sunday - - Outlook -

The March 25 Post con­tained an in­ter­est­ing dis­so­nance.

An Out­look ar­ti­cle about bio­fu­els by David Til­man and Ja­son Hill [“Corn Can’t Solve Our Prob­lem”] pointed out that in as­sess­ing the ef­fi­ciency of us­ing corn to pro­duce ethanol, one must count the “ ‘old’ fos­sil en­ergy it takes to make it: diesel to run trac­tors, nat­u­ral gas to make fer­til­izer and, of course, fuel to run the re­finer­ies that con­vert corn to ethanol.”

The net ef­fect is to add car­bon diox­ide to the at­mos­phere.

In Style, an ar­ti­cle about the DuPont Co. chem­i­cal en­gi­neer who is also the reign­ing Miss Delaware [“Beauty and the Beaker”] tells us that one of DuPont’s key re­search projects is turn­ing corn into fuel.

Jamie Ginn’s as­sign­ment is “to per­form a life-cy­cle as­sess­ment mea­sur­ing the eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts of bio­fu­els from har­vest to hot rod.”

All fuel con­sump­tion re­lated to grow­ing corn is ig­nored.

I hope the Out­look ar­ti­cle’s au­thors can get their mes­sage across to DuPont et al. be­fore we wind up adding to green­house gas lev­els by push­ing bio­fuel made from corn. PA­TRI­CIA H. VAN­DER­SLICE

Cobb Is­land, Md.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.