Maize Ethanol Gains Efficiencies With Time
While cellulosic alcohols offer far more promise, maize ethanol researchers and engineers are improving the marginal efficiencies of the overall process of ethanol from maize. From using plant waste to substitute for natural gas in the distillation, to finding better markets for co-products of distillation, maize ethanol grows more efficient with experience.
The results presented in this paper show that current corn-ethanol systems are much more energy efficient and have a much greater potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than previously published studies. The reason for this discrepancy is that, compared to the earlier studies, UNL's research team utilized more recent data that better represent how the corn ethanol industry is currently performing. In particular, updated values were used for: (1) yields and inputs required for corn production, (2) energy requirements in the ethanol plant, and (3) a more accurate representation of how co-products are used in livestock diets. _BioenergyMore information here.