Energy effeciency from Biofuels such as corn-ethanol is hotly debated in the US as critics point out the massive fuel, fertilizer and water inputs required by modern agriculture. Some claim the added strain on the agricultural system will result in a net energy loss once erosion and soil fertility costs are internalized and will requiring massive chunks of productive land. Current estimates peg corn-ethanol effeciency as 1.67 units of energy output for every unit input.
Wood based Biofuels can potentially revolutionize the industry and silence the critics. The process uses water instead of chemicals as a means of extracting sugar and Willow shrubs as stock material. Wood based Biofuels have many advantages. The entire material can be utilized, (instead of just the corn kernals) trees are a low maintenance crop and harvested 6-7 times before replanting and the leftovers from the Biofuels process are still paper quality grade. Estimates claim ratios of 11-15:1 energy effeciency. For the full article log onto the GLRC: Environment Report podcast.