Net Energy Analysis of Alcohol Production from Sugarcane

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Science  18 Jan 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4428, pp. 302-304
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4428.302


Energy requirements were calculated for the agricultural and the industrial phase of ethyl alcohol production from sugarcane grown in Louisiana. Agricultural energy requirements comprised 54 percent of all energy inputs, with machinery, fuel, and nitrogen fertilizer representing most of the energy subsidies. Overall net energy benefits (output:input) for alcohol production ranged from 1.8:1 to 0.9:1 depending on whether crop residues or fossil fuels were used for industrial processes.