Andrew R.B. Ferguson
By Andrew R.B. Ferguson, Optimum Population Trust Journal
Abstract: The last study of the energy balance of producing ethanol from cellulose was back in 1979. It showed that the energy inputs required were 3.3 times the energy contained in the ethanol output. Nevertheless the belief has persisted that producing ethanol from cellulose may become viable. This paper attempts to interpret the most recent plans for improving the process. It concludes that the best plans on the drawing board, at the present time, indicate a positive energy balance, with inputs comprising about 63% of the ethanol output.