More on Ethanol Production

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I just read Mr. Henry Curtis’ July 2, 2006 editorial in which he states,

“Ethanol production using fossil fuels does have a small net gain for renewables. If one BTU unit of fossil fuel is required to generate 1.2 BTU units of ethanol, then ethanol is 5/6 fossil fuel and 1/6 renewable. Only the renewable added value should count toward meeting renewable energy goals. Unfortunately, Hawaii counts the total ethanol produced, instead of the renewable component. Any emission calculation must account for both the fossil fuel inputs and the ethanol produced.”


I don’t doubt this will be true in some circumstances as I’m sure I’m not as well informed as he is with one exception.

I didn’t see him mention that in Hawaii the two sugar plantations that are planning to make ethanol from sugar cane, instead of exclusively using energy derived from the consumption of fossil fuels in the manufacturing process, will be relying heavily on the burning of bagasse, as well as hydro-electrical power and possibly the burning of garbage.

I know that Gay & Robinson plans to do that on Kauai. Maybe Mr. Curtis, and his fellow environmentalists, could do some more research and readjust their numbers to reflect these items.


”’Phil Keat is a resident of Honolulu, Hawaii and can be reached via email at”’