GUELPH, ON (May 5, 2011) – Canadian biofuel is better for the environment than biofuel produced further south – in part due to our different agricultural practices – according to a new study released by the Grain Farmers of Ontario.
The report, produced by Dr. Terry Daynard and KD Communications says that by including an average of just 5% ethanol in regular gasoline, Canadians are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2.3 million tonnes annually.
“We’re looking at a reduction of 2.3 million tonnes of Canadian GHG greenhouse gas emissions,” says Dr. Terry Daynard, “That’s equivalent to removing 440,000 Canadian cars from the road. About two-thirds of this benefit is in Ontario.”
Efficiencies are generally higher for Canadian corn and ethanol production, compared to the south. This is due to the lower use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer (more livestock manure), less usage of lime and irrigation in Ontario corn production, and the fact that all Canadian ethanol plants use natural gas rather than coal as their source of energy.
The environmental benefits provided by ethanol are clear. Ethanol has replaced other more hazardous compounds used for octane enhancement in gasoline while also reducing harmful emissions, thus reducing the usage and importation of petroleum and refinery products – critical for a major petroleum-importing province such as Ontario – and reducing net greenhouse gas emissions. Fuel ethanol produced from corn has 1.6 times more combustible energy than is used for its manufacture, including the production and transportation of corn.
“Ethanol blending of gasoline has proven to be an environmental benefit, and that’s been supported globally” says Barry Senft at Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We are proud that Canadian farmers are playing a role in this important initiative.”
Grain Farmers of Ontario
Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.