Study: Biofuels from Corn Harm Environment More Than Gasoline

Corn being harvested for ethanol / AP

Corn being harvested for ethanol / AP

BY:

A new study reports that the use of biofuel made from corn is worse for the environment in the short term than fossil fuels, the Associated Press reports.

A $500,000 federally-funded study concluded that biofuels release 7 percent more greenhouse gases than gasoline. The study concluded that biofuel made from corn would not qualify as renewable fuel by the standards set in a 2007 energy law.

The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a billion dollars in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law. About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue.

The biofuel industry and administration officials immediately criticized the research as flawed. They said it was too simplistic in its analysis of carbon loss from soil, which can vary over a single field, and vastly overestimated how much residue farmers actually would remove once the market gets underway.