How much energy does it take to make a gallon of soydiesel?
An interesting question, and also the title of a new publication
from Instutute for Local Self-Reliance. The brochure came in the
mail today. I knew about ethanol, but this was the first I had
heard of soydiesel.
So what is the answer? I quote the blurb:
This report documents the energy used to create soydiesel,
and concludes that even under the worst-case scenario, more
energy is contained in soydiesel than is used to grow and
process soybeans for fuel.
Wow. There's a view I've always wanted to see clarified. I have
always wondered about the energy cost of ethanol production.
ILSR offers a brochure on that subject, too, but the blurb gives
no hint of the answer. Inquiring minds wanting to know can get
the 7-page report for $5. The 15-page soydiesel report is $10.
These prices are high enough to discourage me, so I am turning to
the INTERNET community, hoping that some well-formed positions
I am preadapted to be skeptical about large fossil inputs into
agriculture, generally. I'm especially skeptical when the
product is to be used as a motor fuel and not food. In theory,
agriculture might be allocated to "stretch" our declining fossil
resources. But only if food-agricultural resource constraints
are not binding, a condition which I think is not met.
Has anyone read these particular ILSR reports, and what do you
think of them? What about ILSR positions generally? I've known
about them for years but not in much detail.
I think it would be great to see some ILSR enthusiasts presenting
some of this interesting stuff to the list. Or, maybe you would
like to answer me privately.
West Virginia University