Chapter 12

Ethanol, Biodiesel, and Biomass

Abstract

In the United States, ethanol is generated from corn and has been strongly promoted as a renewable and clean energy source. However, careful analysis shows that it is not carbon neutral because significant pollution is generated from the farming machinery used to grow the corn and from the fuel used for the distillation of the alcohol. Moreover, diverting corn for energy use has driven up the price of corn-based foods. Ethanol is rapidly falling out of favor again, and the same issues apply to biodiesel. The only feedstock that makes sense for biodiesel is waste vegetable oil. But the supply of such oil is limited.

Keywords

biomass

ethanol

biodiesel

woody lignins

In many respects, biomass has had a bright ...

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