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Some Biofuels Create More Emissions

cornstoverA new study claims that ethanol made from waste created by corn harvesting releases more greenhouse gases than gasoline over the short term.

The Hill quotes a study published in Nature Climate Change that said that biofuel made from corn residue releases 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the first few years it is harvested. Ethanol made from this material has lower greenhouse gas emissions over the longer term, according to the study.

Ethanol from corn waste is classified as a cellulosic biofuel. But the researchers said this ethanol, made from the woody parts of plants, could be disqualified from consideration as a renewable fuel under federal standards. .

The researchers also concluded that the higher greenhouse gas emissions could disqualify this ethanol. To qualify, renewable fuels must emit 60 percent of the greenhouse gases as traditional ones.

The study contradicts the EPA. The Hill said the EPA and the biofuels industry said the research was flawed.

Photo: Idaho National Laboratory Flickr photostream

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