Two new studies on ethanol efficiency have found that the ethanol production process itself is more efficient and the resulting ethanol has a more positive energy balance.
The first is from Dr. Steffen Mueller at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who studied the dry mill ethanol process and found that today's ethanol producers are using far fewer energy inputs than they did in 2001, as well as producing more ethanol per bushel of corn. That study can be read here.
The second is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a study on the net energy balance of ethanol. The agency has updated data from 2004 and found that for every 1 BTU (British Thermal Unit) of energy used to create ethanol today, 2.3 BTUs of energy are produced in return. This is a clearly positive energy balance, up from the 1 to 1.77 positive energy balance from 2004 data. The USDA report can be read here.
The technology innovations that are driving these increases in efficiency will be featured at the American Coalition for Ethanol conference in Kansas City on August 3-5. The full agenda may be viewed here. We hope to see you there!