Ethanol production said increasing erosion

Jul 06, 2005

Large-scale farming of sugar cane and corn for ethanol fuel is increasing erosion and reducing biodiversity, Washington State University researchers say.

Ethanol is added to gasoline to increase the oxygen content of fuel and reduce pollution from auto emissions.

Ethanol accounts for 40 percent of the fuel used in Brazil. In the United States, the U.S. Senate last month passed a bill that would require adding 8 billions of ethanol by 2012 to the current 3 billion gallons, Nature reported.

While ethanol fuels release less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, Washington State researcher Burton Vaughan said making and transporting fertilizer leads to significant emissions of the greenhouse gas.

Vaughn, reporting in the journal BioScience, also said burning sugar cane can lead to increased erosion and dwindling water supplies.

In an earlier study, Cornell University scientist David Pimentel argued that ethanol production consumes more energy than it produces, a conclusion disputed by studies by Argonne (Ill.) National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Rosetta's comet: In the shadow of the coma

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

LiquidPiston unveils quiet X Mini engine prototype

3 hours ago

LiquidPiston has a new X Mini engine which is a small 70 cubic centimeter gasoline powered "prototype. This is a quiet, four-stroke engine with near-zero vibration. The company said it can bring improvements ...

Rare new species of plant: Stachys caroliniana

3 hours ago

The exclusive club of explorers who have discovered a rare new species of life isn't restricted to globetrotters traveling to remote locations like the Amazon rainforests, Madagascar or the woodlands of the ...

New terahertz device could strengthen security

3 hours ago

We are all familiar with the hassles that accompany air travel. We shuffle through long lines, remove our shoes, and carry liquids in regulation-sized tubes. And even after all the effort, we still wonder if these procedures ...

European space plane set for February launch

4 hours ago

Europe's first-ever "space plane" will be launched on February 11 next year, rocket firm Arianespace said Friday after a three-month delay to fine-tune the mission flight plan.

Recommended for you

ESA image: The gold standard

6 hours ago

The Eutelsat-9B satellite with its EDRS-A payload is shown in the anechoic test chamber of Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, having completed its final antenna pattern tests today.

Frost-covered chaos on Mars

6 hours ago

Thanks to a break in the dusty 'weather' over the giant Hellas Basin at the beginning of this year, ESA's Mars Express was able to look down into the seven kilometre-deep basin and onto the frosty surface ...

Rosetta's comet: In the shadow of the coma

12 hours ago

This NAVCAM mosaic comprises four individual images taken on 20 November from a distance of 30.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/C-G. The image resolution is 2.6 m/pixel, so each original 1024 x 1024 pixel ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.