Letters

09/05/2005
Biomass potentialIn his Aug. 1 letter, Ted Lofstrom correctly concludes that the entire US corn and soybean crops, if converted to ethanol and biodiesel, would offset only a very small fraction of US petroleum consumption.Environmentalists are now arguing that new enzyme fermentation processes that convert cellulose into fuel alcohol will dramatically increase the supply of biofuels. In order to understand why biomass can never provide anything more than a very small fraction of the US energy supply, let's look at the production of wood on commercial forest lands.Forests cover about 731 million acres of the US.1 However, commercial timberland, defined as forest land which produces or ...
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