Ethanol Blend May Increase, Despite Concerns

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack supports raising the federal blending limit on ethanol to boost the struggling industry. 

Currently the limit of ethanol that can be blended with conventional gasoline is 10.2%. The industry would like to see a 15%-20% blend limit.

However the industry faces more than a bad economic environment; it also has a bad public image among many environmental and social groups, who say the U.S. ethanol standard should remain at current levels and then be lowered gradually.

Concerns over the biofuel include environmental damage from greater use of fertilizers and pesticides, conversion of food stocks to fuel stocks, and lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.

But the industry insists that ethanol efficiency is improving, and cellulosic ethanol is on its way to becoming cost efficient. 

Read an up-to-date report published by the WorldWatch Institute at the link below.

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