Does a gallon of ethanol really require five gallons of water?
“1,000 gallons a minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
No, that’s not an Exxon exec’s fantasy CAFE standard. It’s how much water will be required by an ethanol plant slated to open in Pennsylvania’s coal country, according to this report.
My calculator informs me that “1,000 gallons a minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week” amounts to about 526 million gallons of water per year. The above-linked article claims that the Pennsylvania plant will produce 100 million gallons of ethanol annually. That means it takes about five and a quarter gallons of water to produce a gallon of ethanol — and that doesn’t account for irrigation water for corn production.