Title: Effects of biofuels vs. other new vehicle technologies on air pollution, global warming, land use and water

Authors: Mark Z. Jacobson

Addresses: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-4020, USA

Abstract: The use of biofuels, particularly ethanol, has expanded in the last few years based significantly on the premise that biofuels replacing fossil fuels may reduce global warming and air pollution problems. While this claim is still being debated, the real comparison should be between biofuels and other emerging technologies. It is found here that both corn-E85 (85% ethanol/15% gasoline) and cellulosic-E85 degrade air quality and climate by up to two orders of magnitude more than Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs) or Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (HFCVS) powered by either solar Photovoltaics (PVs), Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave, or tidal power. As such, the use of cellulosic or corn ethanol at the expense of the other options will cause certain damage to health, climate, land, and water supply in the future.

Keywords: global warming; air pollution; air quality; wind energy; solar energy; geothermal energy; tidal energy; wave energy; hydroelectric energy; ethanol; battery-electric vehicles; hydrogen fuel cells; hydrogen fuel cell vehicles; biofuels; wind power; solar power; geothermal power; tidal power; wave power; photovoltaics; electric vehicles; hydroelectric power; fuel technology; alternative fuels; alternative propulsion.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBT.2009.028099

International Journal of Biotechnology, 2009 Vol.11 No.1/2, pp.14 - 59

Published online: 05 Sep 2009 *

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