Letters

08/01/2005
Biofuel potentialAs the price of crude oil continues to rise, political leaders and public officials have called for increased reliance on biomass-based fuels, such as ethanol made from corn and biodiesel made from soybeans, as substitutes for petroleum-based fuels. What is the potential contribution of biomass-based fuels to relieving America¿s dependence on petroleum (of which 60% is now imported from foreign sources)? To answer this question I calculated the amount of ethanol and biodiesel that could be produced from the 2004 US corn and soybean crops and compared it to our nation¿s annual consumption of petroleum. Crop totals are from the US Department of Agriculture; the biofuel pot...
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