Study Shows Ethanol Reducing Footprint

Cindy Zimmerman

A new study indicates that ethanol production is continuing to reduce its energy and environmental footprint.

cutcThe study, entitled “2012 Corn Ethanol: Emerging Plant Energy and Environmental Technologies”, found that recent innovations in corn ethanol production have resulted in increased yield per bushel even as less energy is required for production. Thermal energy use at a typical dry mill ethanol plant has fallen 9% since 2008, the study found, meaning the carbon footprint of corn ethanol continues to shrink.

The authors, Steffen Mueller, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Chicago Energy Resources Center and John Kwik, PE, of Dominion Energy Services, LLC wrote in summary, “Our work includes an assessment of over 50% of operating dry grind corn ethanol plants. On average, 2012 dry grind plants produce ethanol at higher yields with lower energy inputs than 2008 corn ethanol.”

“Furthermore, significantly more corn oil is separated at the plants now, which combined with the higher ethanol yields results in a slight reduction in DDG production and a negligible increase in electricity consumption,” the authors concluded.

Listen to an interview with Steffen Mueller here: Steffen Mueller, study author

Read the study here.

Audio, Energy, Environment, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA