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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

08 Jan 2008 03:01:02

Grass biofuels 'offer 94% carbon saving'

Grass biofuels 'offer 94% carbon saving'
Production and consumption of ethanol derived from switchgrass produces 94 per cent less carbon emissions than an equivalent volume of petrol, according to a new report.

The study, undertaken by a team from the US Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Research Service, also discovered that the energy produced by the ethanol was 540 per cent greater than that required to manufacture it, the BBC reported.

While the net gain stated in the report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was greater than that suggested in a previous document last year, the study's authors claimed this reflected their use of on-farm trials of the methods.

Dr Ken Vogel, the report's co-author, told the BBC: "We had on-farm trials, so we had all the data from the farmers on all the inputs needed to produce the crops. We were able to take this information and put it into this model and able to come up with a very real-world estimate."

"Right now, the Department of Energy is co-funding the construction of six biorefineries in the US. These plants will be completed around 2010, and will be above the pilot plant scale," he added.

A study undertaken by the World Conservation Union last year revealed that only 21 per cent of environmental experts believed that biofuels could safely reduce the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.ADNFCR-1235-ID-18417864-ADNFCR

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