Study: biofuels more efficient as electricity source.

AuthorBlock, Ben
PositionEYE ON EARTH - Brief article

Converting biomass to electricity for charging electric vehicles may be a more "climate-friendly" transportation option than using biomass to produce ethanol fuel, according to an analysis pubished in Science in May.


"You make more efficient use of the land and more efficient use of the plant biomass by making electricity rather than ethanol," said Elliott Campbell, an environmental scientist at the University of California at Merced, who led the research. "It's another reason that, rather than race to liquid biofuels, we should consider other uses of bio-resources."

The study used lifecycle assessments to compare the energy required to run ethanol refineries, produce internal combustion engines, and transport the liquid fuel to filling stations against the efficiencies of biomass-fired power plants, electric vehicle production, and electricity transmission.

The study also compared the transportation and emissions savings of "advanced" biofuels derived from sources such as organic wastes, algae, and switch-grass. Regardless of the...

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