Biofuels: As Bad As Some Say They Are?

Here in Ann Arbor, there have been plenty of fireworks on this press release “Study: Biofuels increase, rather than decrease, heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions” about a new paper published by the University of Michigan. After reading this paper, I can understand what the brouhaha is about because there are quite a few other factors, for evaluating carbon emissions from bio-fuels, that were not included in the paper. If I were writing it, I would also have included information about carbon sequestration, for example. Plants take up carbon dioxide and expel oxygen. This respiration is what grows the plant and in point of fact, all the carbon in the plant is sequestered from carbon dioxide. If we look at corn, for example, The ear of corn is about 10% of the total biomass of the corn plant and the kernel is about 25-50% of that ear. The rest of the plant is ground up and plowed back into the ground. The point being is that a small portion of the sequestered carbons dioxide is actually used for fuel production. We can never get 100% conversion back into fuel from biomass so our sequestration of carbons dioxide is always net positive. This is, of course, just one example. There are many other factors that could have been included.

David Slomczynski, Ph.D; Geometrick Enterprises



2 thoughts on “Biofuels: As Bad As Some Say They Are?

  1. A comment of policy to readers of this blog from the company owner:

    I would ask anyone reading this to understand that this blog post is meant to fuel (yes, pun intended) an industry discussion. Writing to David, directly, does not do that no matter how many times you write to him with your opinions. His purpose is to get readers to an understanding of the true factors behind the issue. That is only accomplished when there is discussion not when people write directly to him. He will not be copying-and-pasting posts from people e-mailing him into the comments. If he did that it would be too easy for readers to think he’s making up the responses to drive the discussion.

    In addition, while GeoMetrick Enterprises is quite small, we feel that we have a serious purpose with the work we do and the discussions we create. As a trained research scientist, Dr. Slomczynski is actually expected to review and ask questions of research and this is what makes research better – the fact that scientists all over the world will be reviewing and questioning it.

    As such, we welcome anyone in the industry to posting health and fact-based discussion comments and asking questions in that vein but you have to do it using your own account login.

    Liked by 1 person

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