U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Vehicle Technologies Office
DOE Brochure Highlights Ethanol Life-Cycle Results Obtained with GREET
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently published a brochure highlighting the efficacy of Argonne National Laboratory's GREET model in evaluating the complete energy life cycle for ethanol. Titled Ethanol: The Complete Energy Lifecycle Picture - Color (PDF 6.2 MB), B&W (PDF 5 MB) Download Adobe Reader, the brochure explains that in terms of key energy and environmental benefits, cornstarch ethanol clearly outpaces petroleum-based fuels, and tomorrow's cellulosic-based ethanol would do even better.
GREET (Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy use in Transportation) was developed by Dr. Michael Wang of Argonne's Center for Transportation Research with support from DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Considered the industry "gold standard" for life-cycle analysis of advanced vehicle technologies and new transportation fuels, the GREET model is widely used by government agencies, the automotive industry, the energy industry, research institutions, universities, and public interest groups throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
Ethanol: The Complete Energy Lifecycle Picture explains that by accounting for energy use of the whole cycle of ethanol production beginning with fertilizer manufacture, GREET determined that producing ethanol from corn requires 0.74 million Btu fossil energy input per million Btu of ethanol delivered to the pump — versus the 1.23 million Btu fossil energy cost per million Btu of delivered gasoline produced from petroleum. In addition, GREET showed that producing ethanol from corn reduces fossil energy use, petroleum energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions, whereas cellulosic ethanol can produce much greater fossil energy and greenhouse gas benefits.