Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


Abstract Ethanol is a biofuel that has unique capabilities to mitigate global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously supporting rural economies and decreasing the United States’ dependence on foreign oil. Currently, the state of Nebraska depends on corn ethanol, which may be unsustainable. Cellulosic ethanol is a promising alternative but it is not without its problems, including high production costs and potential environmental damage. This thesis is an attempt to understand the benefits, downfalls, and processes of corn-based and cellulosic ethanol and the potential implications to Nebraska. This research should shed some light on the current obstacles and environmental problems involved with production, as well as evaluate the potential economic benefits to Nebraska, while pointing out issues that should be further researched before implementation.