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Overfertilizing corn undermines ethanol

March 3, 2011 – Rice University scientists and their colleagues have found that when growing corn crops for ethanol, more means less.


November 30, 1999
By Rice University News and Media

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March 3, 2011 – Rice University scientists and their colleagues have found that when growing corn crops for ethanol, more means less.

A new paper in today’s online edition of the American Chemical Society’s journal Environmental Science and Technology shows how farmers can save money on fertilizer while they improve their production of feedstock for ethanol and alleviate damage to the environment.

The research has implications for an industry that has grown dramatically in recent years to satisfy America’s need for energy while trying to cut the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The team led by postdoctoral researcher Morgan Gallagher as part of her dissertation at Rice discovered that corn grain, one source of ethanol, and the stalks and leaves, the source of cellulosic ethanol, respond differently to nitrogen fertilization. | READ MORE