Future Sustainability of Energy Crop
City College of New YorkDenny HalimAbstract
Energy crop has been receiving extensive attention due to its potential to replace fossil fuel to replace fossilfuel. There is an on-going debate about whether energy crop could replace fossil fuel or not, because of processing of crop to ethanol requires energy input thus there is a possibility of negative net energy balance.Result from previous study indicated that by considering co-product produced from ethanol processing planteither from corn or cellulosic plant both could achieve positive net energy balance as much as 60,000 Btu forcellulosic based ethanol and 20,000 to 30,000 Btu for corn based ethanol. Energy crop requires large area toproduce substantial amount of ethanol. This report estimated that in order to satisfy 20% of energy demands in2050, energy crop would require 1,735 million ha of land. One of the benefits of energy crop is less emissionof greenhouse gas emission and this study indicated that cellulosic based ethanol could acquire much higherreduction of greenhouse gas emission compared with corn based ethanol in term of life cycle assessment.
energy crop, biofuel, corn, cellulose, ethanol, greenhouse gas