The biodiesel energy balance debate continues

University of Idaho researchers say “flawed information” is fueling the debate about biodiesel energy balance. Biodiesel Energy Balance is a short analysis produced by Jon Van Gerpen and Dev Shrestha from the University of Idaho Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering which refutes the negative energy balance conclusions reached by David Pimentel and Tad Patzek in their paper entitled Ethanol Production Using Corn, Switchgrass, and Wood; Biodiesel Production Using Soybean and Sunflower.

While I haven’t been able to track down a copy of the Pimentel and Patzek paper I have to say Van Gerpen and Shrestha are very direct in pointing out what they see as errors in Pimentel and Patzek’s work. However, energy balance, while important is just one part of the equation. It is good to see people researching the lifecycle energy balance of biofuels but we need fuels with a positive energy balance and lower lifecycle emissions.

Source: Biofuel Review, University of Idaho (thanks for the tip Sreenivas)


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