Ethanol use in Michigan cuts greenhouse gas, study finds

Capital News Service
LANSING — New research suggests increased ethanol fuel use could be dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Michigan. A study by scientists at Michigan State University shows ethanol use in the state is reducing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 1.4 million metric tons each year, the equivalent of emissions from 294,000 cars. Ethanol fuel production, meanwhile, has nearly doubled in the past seven years, from 276 million gallons in 2007 to 452 million in 2012. The findings suggest ethanol could serve as one tool to slow global warming, experts said. “We can reduce some portions of greenhouse gas if we use more ethanol,” said Seungdo Kim, a chemical engineering and materials science professor who coauthored the study.

Ethanol production levels off in Michigan

Capital News Service
LANSING — Less than a year after a brutal drought damaged corn crops across the Midwest, the ethanol industry is looking to recover from its first national decline in 15 years. Though Michigan’s corn crop was damaged less than those in nearby Indiana and Illinois, production of ethanol — an alcohol-based fuel made from corn — slowed at its refineries while other facilities throughout the U.S. idled or were shut down. For example, the Global Ethanol Inc. Riga facility near Blissfield was able to maintain its 46 employees through last year’s drought but experienced declines in output, plant manager Bill Welever said. “The ethanol industry is highly dependent on the weather and, in turn, there’s peaks and valleys,” Welever said. “Over the course of the last six years, there’s been a lot of ups and downs.”
Jim Zook, executive director of the Michigan Corn Growers Association, said this year’s crop projections look promising, but extended cold temperatures and heavy rainfall have delayed planting a few weeks for many farmers.