Wham-EBAMM, Thank You, M’am

Cindy Zimmerman

The model used in the ethanol study out this week from UC Berkeley has a nice catchy anacronym (of course) EBAMM – which stands for Energy and Resources Group Biofuels Meta Model which is available to the public on the UC Berkeley website, which is the same link provided in our previous post about the study. I like the Science Daily release on the study and some of the quotes from the researchers Dan Kammen and Alex Farrell of the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley. “It is better to use various inputs to grow corn and make ethanol and use that in your cars than it is to use the gasoline and fossil fuels directly,” Kamman said in the release. “The people who are saying ethanol is bad are just plain wrong,” he said. “But it isn’t a huge victory – you wouldn’t go out and rebuild our economy around corn-based ethanol.”
The transition would be worth it, the authors point out, if the ethanol is produced not from corn but from woody, fibrous plants: cellulose.
“Ethanol can be, if it’s made the right way with cellulosic technology, a really good fuel for the United States,” said Farrell, an assistant professor of energy and resources. “At the moment, cellulosic technology is just too expensive. If that changes – and the technology is developing rapidly – then we might see cellulosic technology enter the commercial market within five years.”

Yep – that’s what we’ve been saying here on this blog. Corn is just a start. God bless the farmers for getting this ball rolling, but in the future the fuel will more than likely come from other sources.
The picture, from the release, was taken at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which became the first ethanol dispensing station in Northern California in July 2004.

Ethanol, Research