USDA HIGHLIGHTS NET ENERGY GAINS ON "ETHANOL MINUTE" RADIO
Washington, DC, June 28, 2004 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be the featured guest this week discussing the increased energy balance of ethanol production on Ethanol Across America's "Ethanol Minute ".
The conversion of corn to ethanol, prior to processing as animal feed, produces a net energy gain of 67% according to the latest study by USDA. Dr. Roger Conway, Director of the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, says that a realistic and practical set of assumptions that reflect the new efficiencies of contemporary ethanol plants is the key factor.
"Modern ethanol plants are efficient in every way, producing 20% more ethanol from a bushel of corn than just 5 years ago, and requiring 15% less energy to do so," said Dr. Conway.
The study updates previous efforts by USDA and employs a model of assumptions such as the Greenhouse Gasses, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation Model (GREET) developed at Argonne National Laboratory.
"Our study is based on straightforward methodology and highly regarded quality data," said Dr. Conway. "Our data is crystal clear. We used a USDA corn survey and we also used a survey of ethanol plants so you can see the data from the first step of the process all the way until ethanol goes into the tank of your car."
U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), Co-Chairman of the Ethanol Across America campaign, said this most recent study by USDA should put to rest what has been an inaccurate and distorted argument. "We are making more energy by far than what we use to process corn into ethanol, a good sign for states like mine that contribute through our production of grain," said Senator Burns. Not only do we get more net energy from the process, but we get critical transportation fuels at a time of spiraling gasoline prices and tight energy supplies. This is good news for America and American consumers."
The Ethanol Minute is broadcast nationwide at more than 440 stations per week. The series covers various aspects of ethanol production and use, including performance, health effects, economic development, and other related issues.
The Ethanol Minute radio series will soon be available on a downloadable format on the Ethanol Across America website, ethanolacrossamerica.net.
Ethanol Across America is a non-profit, non-partisan education campaign of the Clean Fuels Foundation and is sponsored by industry, government, and private interests. U.S. Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Conrad Burns (R-MT), Co-Chairmen. For more information, log on to www.ethanolacrossamerica.net.
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