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    Converting Corn into Ethanol

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    (a) An acre of corn can produce about 375 gallons of ethanol, using only the kernel of the corn for conversion to ethanol. Assume the energy input to produce an acre of corn is 15000000 kJ. If a gallon of ethanol has an embodied energy in the ethanol of about 80000 kJ, calculate the ratio of embodied energy in the ethanol to the energy required to produce the corn.

    (b) Assume the yield of corn stover (cobs, stalks, leaves) is 4.0 dry metric tons per acre. The extra energy required to convert the stover to ethanol is 15000 kJ/gallon; and one dry ton of stover can produce 75 gallons of ethanol. Assuming only 30% of the stover is removed for conversion to ethanol, what would be the new energy ratio calculated in (a) above?

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    Solution Preview

    a. First the embodied energy in the ethanol is:= 375*80000=30,000,000(kJ)
    The energy required to produce the corn=15,000,000 kJ
    Hence the ratio of embodied energy ...

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