Biofuel Refineries Are Releasing Toxic Air Pollutants in US Farm Communities

"The ethanol industry has billed itself as a green alternative to oil and gas, but new research finds biofuel refineries are releasing toxic chemicals in farm communities across the nation."

"For decades, American farm policy has funneled tens of billions of taxpayer dollars toward renewable, crop-based fuels, with elected leaders and the biofuels industry lauding them as cleaner, greener alternatives to petroleum.

But a new review of industry data published Wednesday finds that the country’s biofuel refineries, mostly located in the Midwest, are spewing out toxic air pollutants, in some cases in greater amounts than their petroleum counterparts.

“The industry claims biofuels are a better alternative,” said Kira Dunham, a researcher with the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and co-author of the new report. “But what we found is that biofuels are a pretty significant source of hazardous air pollutants.”

Dunham and her colleagues at EIP reviewed emissions data reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and to states from the country’s 275 ethanol, biodiesel and renewable diesel plants. They found that these facilities release carcinogenic formaldehyde and other potentially dangerous substances, including acetaldehyde, hexane and acrolein, in larger volumes than petroleum refineries."

Georgina Gustin reports for Inside Climate News June 12, 2024.


Source: Inside Climate News, 06/13/2024