A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years than conventional gasoline. The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a billion dollars in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law.
About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue. About 40 percent of the nation's corn crop goes to produce biofuels.
Indiana ranks fifth nationally in ethanol production and corn production.
The state has about a dozen corn-ethanol plants that make more than a billion gallons of ethanol annually. The biofuel industry and administration officials say that the research as flawed and too simplistic in its analysis.