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Greener Biofuels

April 25, 2018

For biofuel makers, the new tax law makes lowering CO2 emissions profitable.



Making biofuels greener. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Fermenting corn and other crops into ethanol fuel is controversial, partly because it uses farmland to grow fuel instead of food, and also because fermentation produces the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. But the 2018 tax law passed by Congress includes generous tax credits for companies that capture CO2 from their waste streams. Stanford energy engineer Daniel Sanchez says that could be a boon for biofuel companies.

DANIEL SANCHEZ (Stanford University):

When you’re making biofuels, you emit a pure stream of CO2, so it avoids the need for a costly separation process.


In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sanchez and his colleagues write that the tax credits and ease of removing CO2 from biofuel production, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by making carbon reduction profitable. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon