Miles per acre

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Bioenergy > Issues > Miles per acre


Why Miles per Acre

Miles per Acre is a way of measuring the integrated system efficiency of both a transportation biofuel production system and the vehicles using that fuel. It is defined as the number of miles traveled by a vehicle divided by the number of acres of land area required to produce the vehicle motive fuel. Generally, this only makes sense as a 'per year' figure, as in how many miles per year can be driven on the yield of 1 acre of land. This integrated approach has several advantages over miles per gallon or gallons per acre alone, however it is much harder to develop a good number for, and is likely to be more controversial.

Advantages of this approach

  • Offers an approach that more accurately reflects the environmental cost of a particular fuel and transportation system
  • allows comparison of fuels of different density, for example ethanol, biodiesel, and wind power (acres of land for wind farms)

Examples of miles per acre

  • 2001 Toyota Prius
    • Miles per acre per year on Corn Ethanol: 19,000
    • Miles per acre per year on Sweet Sorghum derived Ethanol: 36,400
    • estimated averages of 3 trips, from 1

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