Feature of the Month: Corn Ethanol Efficiency and Energy Balance

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Ethanol yield can be broadly defined as the number of ethanol gallons per one bushel of corn. This number can vary from dry mill plant to wet mill plant. According to a U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report published in May 2015, the ethanol average yield was approximately 2.8 in 2014 compared with 2.5 in 1982. You can find the EIA report at

However, this is not the main point. Last February, the USDA published a report on the 2015 energy balance of the corn ethanol industry authored by Gallagher, Yee, and Baumes (2016). You can find this report at

There is an interesting ongoing debate on the USDA analysis. We find the following to be very good critiques of that analysis: