73–75% reduction in petroleum use,
14–19% reduction in GHG emissions, and
34–35% reduction in fossil energy use.
Use of E95 (95% ethanol and 5% gasoline by volume) achieves:
85–88% reduction in petroleum use,
19–25% reduction in GHG emissions, and
42–44% reduction in fossil energy use.
Energy Balance of Ethanol
Many questions have been raised as to the net energy efficiency of ethanol production from corn. Over the last decade, much progress has been made in terms of energy-efficient ethanol production methods. Ethanol contains about 32,000 (high heating value) BTUs per litre. It takes about one quarter of that amount to grow the corn and about one third of that amount to process the corn in a modern ethanol production facility. Based on the ethanol "life-cycle", the net energy balance is positive. More information is provided at the Canadian greenfuels page at http://www.greenfuels.org/energybal.html.
Table 3. Summary of Energy Inputs and Outputs According to the 1995 study produced by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, using state-of the-art farming and ethanol production techniques would result in the following energy balance (in Canadaian funds):
BTU's/Litre of Ethanol
INPUTS - FEEDSTOCK
Fertilizer Pesticides Fuel Irrigation Other Total
1,022 107 349 1,597 825 3,901
INPUTS – PROCESSING
Process Steam Electricity Bulk Transport Other Total Total Energy Input
211 277 8,766 12,667
Energy in Ethanol Co-product Credits Total Energy Output
22,217 9,579 31,796
Net Energy Gain
19,130 = 151%