Corn Waste for Biofuel Could Boost Emissions, Study Finds
The U.S. Department of Energy has been counting on leftover residue from corn cultivation—such as stalks and cobs—as an abundant future source of renewable clean energy, and touted it as a potential goldmine for farmers as well.
But University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) researchers may throw a damper on those plans, with a newly published study in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change. They calculated that harvesting the corn residue may actually result in the release more climate-altering carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than federal environmental regulations allow. (See related coverage: “Biofuels at a Crossroads.”)
Those findings, however, were challenged by both a renewable energy trade group and a prominent biofuels researcher, who found fault with the study’s methodology.