It is important to realise that not all ethanol is equal, especially when it comes to sustainability.
There has been much debate around use of biofuels taking resources away from food production. This debate mainly refers to the overseas production of ethanol and specifically the use of corn and grains to produce ethanol.
The sugar/molasses based ethanol situation is different, sugar is a sweetener not a food staple. Unlike corn and grain, sugar contains no protein, fat or vitamins.
Other benefits of sugar/molasses based ethanol include:
- The molasses used to produce Ethanol is a by-product of sugar production and is not a “food”
- Ethanol produced from Sugar has 4 times the C02 reduction of ethanol produced from grain.
- 60% of Australian sugarcane is now grown without irrigation.
Water management practices have been implemented by sugarcane farmers through a Rural Water Use Efficiency Project (RWUE). The RWUE project has lead to 91% changing the layout of their farm to improve efficiency of irrigation and/or harvesting operations.