Nebraska is home to a lot of corn and soybeans, and the Nebraska Corn Board, with an admitted stake in the success of ethanol and, indirectly, biodiesel, is making the case for the green biofuels. The group does a good job of laying out the facts about just how sustainable and renewable ethanol and biodiesel really are.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards have been a hot topic over the last few years, which is good news for renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. The ethanol industry is producing fuel that is up to 59% lower is GHG emissions than regular gasoline. While biodiesel reduces lifecycle GHG emissions by up to 86% compared to regular diesel fuel.
Not only are the emissions drastically lowered, the energy balance ratios of both biofuels are leaps and bounds ahead of petroleum. Energy balance ratios deal with how much energy it takes to produce something compared to what is gained. For instance, for every one unit of energy it takes to produce petroleum oil, 0.88 units of energy are created, which creates a negative energy balance. Meanwhile, ethanol creates up to 2.3 units of energy for every unit of input and biodiesel’s energy balance is a whopping 5.5 to 1.
Plenty of people might be using the green fuels and not even know it. Ron Pavelka, a soybean farmer and a district director for the Nebraska Soybean Board, points out that B5 biodiesel is labeled as #2 diesel fuel. “So lots of consumers are experiencing the benefits without even knowing that they actually are helping our environment by using biodiesel.”
The column goes on to say more choices of flex-fuel vehicles are giving more consumers the chance to run higher blends of ethanol, all the way up to E85 and see the benefits themselves. And the board concludes saying that these consumers are seeing the benefits and are asking for more biofuels at the pump.