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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Underground Sequestration Of Carbon Dioxide Presents Potential Liabilities


Disposal of carbon dioxide is the unspoken and potentially serious problem associated with fermentation of corn to produce ethanol.  It is estimated that only 25 percent of the byproduct is currently captured and the remainder presumably, enters the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas.  So much for the much vaunted claims of sustainability and the environmental benefits of ethanol biofuel.


In an attempt to address the problem, a number of companies have filed applications to install pipelines linking major ethanol plants with a central disposal site. The question now remains as to whether there could be long-term environmental impacts from subterranean storage.  


The fact that there may be practical and legal problems is evidenced by the fact that legislatures friendly to corn-based ethanol are absolving ethanol producers, potential pipeline operators and storage companies from responsibility for any untoward results of sequestration.


Long-term storage of carbon dioxide is too serious a problem to leave to corn-state legislators whose major preoccupation is placating their current constituencies to remain in office with little concern for the future. We need a coordinated science-based national policy on disposal of nuclear waste, coal-ash and carbon dioxide from energy generation to benefit future generations.


Copyright © 2022 Simon M. Shane