Friday, October 02, 2009

Water Efficiency for Ethanol Production Amazingly Good

One of the complaints against biofuels is that they are said to use excessive amounts of water. This is a curious complaint given the water efficiencies of alternatives.
The U.S. Geological Survey states on its Web site that it takes roughly 44 gallons of water to produce one gallon of crude oil. According the USGS, the average ethanol plant uses approximately four gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol.

Calendine said POET's biorefineries typically use less than three gallons of water per gallon of ethanol due to improved process technology.

"A 45-million-gallon-a-year POET plant uses the same amount of water as an 18-hole golf course in a year," Calendine said.

As processes improve, the amount of water used could decline further, or at least be reused. Calendine said there are ethanol plants that are zero-discharge plants, meaning the water is recycled. _BiofuelsDigest
Of course, hydroelectric power generation uses an incredible amount of water, but then, who's counting?

As long as water is returned in clean condition to the water table or to the air as steam, it is difficult to give any credence to this type of complaint against biofuels.



Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

I think that some people assume that ethanol feedstock producers will pump up fossil water to grow corn in the desert. People can't get past the idea that ethanol equals corn and that fresh water can only come from ever diminishing sources.

4:13 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

Much of the water can be recycled. Some could be used for irrigation.

Water is never destroyed by basic chemical and routine physical processes.

Eventually we will be able to cheaply desalinate as much ocean and brackish water as we wish.

What a bummer that will be for the eco doomers.

6:02 PM  

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