What I just wrote up there is obviously true. I mean, I am in no way surprised by that, but apparently it's a big story. I suppose the story, really, is that somebody actually got out a pen and paper and did the math.
Here are the results, "biomass converted into electricity produced 81 percent more transportation miles and 108 percent more emissions offsets compared to ethanol." Those are some good numbers, and I think we can all agree that, in an ideal world, we would all have electric vehicles.
Buuut, we don't. We have vehicles that run on liquid fuels, and a transportation and infrastructure that relies on liquid fuels. The average car in America stays on the road for ten years, meaning that, for quite a while anyway, we're stuck with liquid fuels.
Creating ethanol, by design, is less efficient than burning it for electricity. There are a half-dozen energy-intensive steps necessary to turn cellulose into ethanol. But ethanol is a more convenient fuel than electricity. We don't need advanced batteries, we've got the pumping stations in place and there are already a lot of flex-fuel cars on the roads.
I hope we can all agree that electric cars would be better than ethanol-powered cars...but we should also agree that both are better than gasoline.
written by Alex Russell, May 11, 2009
written by T.J. Morice, May 12, 2009
written by Fred, July 07, 2009
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