University of Minnesota researchers calculated the energy needed for cultivating and harvesting corn and soybeans, transporting them, and processing them into biofuel. The group also examined the amounts of fertilizer and pesticide required and the amount of greenhouse gases and nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticide pollutants each released into the environment. Results show that soybean biodiesel generates 41% less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel fuel compared to ethanol's generating 12% less than gasoline. Soybeans also use much less nitrogen fertilizer and pesticides. Neither ethanol from corn or biodiesel from soybean can meet the demand for fuels to replace petroleum.
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|Published - Aug 1 2006