Description: We estimated the effects on per-vehicle-mile fuel-cycle petroleum use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and energy use of using ethanol blended with gasoline in a mid-size passenger car, compared with the effects of using gasoline in the same car. Our analysis includes petroleum use, energy use, and emissions associated with chemicals manufacturing, farming of corn and biomass, ethanol production, and ethanol combustion for ethanol; and petroleum use, energy use, and emissions associated with petroleum recovery, petroleum refining, and gasoline combustion for gasoline. For corn-based ethanol, the key factors in determining energy and emissions impacts include energy and chemical usage intensity of corn farming, energy intensity of the ethanol plant, and the method used to estimate energy and emissions credits for co-products of corn ethanol. The key factors in determining the impacts of cellulosic ethanol are energy and chemical usage intensity of biomass farming, ethanol yield per dry ton of biomass, and electricity credits in cellulosic ethanol plants. The results of our fuel-cycle analysis for fuel ethanol are listed below. Note that, in the first half of this summary, the reductions cited are per-vehicle-mile traveled using the specified ethanol/gasoline blend instead of conventional (not reformulated) gasoline. The second half of the summary presents estimated changes per gallon of ethanol used in ethanol blends. GHG emissions are global warming potential (GWP)-weighted, carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalent emissions of CO2, methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).
Date: February 8, 1999
Creator: Saricks, C.; Santini, D. & Wang, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department