Not very. But it depends on the source. If corn is grown solely for the production of this biofuel, in the long run it does more damage to the earth than good. If, however, the ethanol can be produced from a source that is not in demand (people are starving out there…), like say corn stalks or husks that would otherwise be thrown away or composted, then it is somewhat viable from an energy efficiency standpoint. There will be steps taken in the future to ensure that the production of ethanol is kept to a minimum unless sources can be found which should not be used for other purpose (or ideally, things that cannot be used for other purposes—but that does not include corn, because people need to eat!).
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