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Thread: Corn and Ethanol.

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    Exclamation Corn and Ethanol.

    A couple quick thoughts. I read a couple articles today.

    Headlines today are that 5 ethanol plant are in the planning stages for my area. Ag experts say that "There ain't enuff corn to supply them all." Blue collar guys at work that are part time farms say "Bring on the $8 corn." Point is the corn supply will be very badly depleted and the amount of fertilizer and water required to make a good crop will skyrocket. Demand for seed corn, fert., water, fuel, and crop chemicals will all be stretched. Prices for all will go up as demand goes up and they will still not have enough corn to supply that many plant. Water table will drop because farmers will buy irrigation pivots to increase production.

    Now the big one some do not see coming.........................How many food and drink products are sweetened with "high fructose corn syrup"? Plan on paying a bit more for those items. How about cereals? Corn syrup equals corn ethanol. The byproduct of ethanol can be feed back to livestock, but you can bet meat and dairy prices will go up because of the marketing hype.

    How much of the price the ethanol producer get for their product is tax subsidies? Brazil makes ethanol work because they are in the perfect spot for..........sugar cane, the most perfect plant for ethanol.

    On the surface ethanol looked good to me, but now I am beginning to see a different path. Ethanol in the US is a Pandora's box. Soil erosion, depleted water table, anhydrous ammonia, farm chemicals, green field margins, chemical run off, increase fuel usage, higher food prices, and more tax money to subsidize with.

    Here is another kicker. To produce ethanol it requires more fossil fuel btu's that is returned from the ethanol. In Brazil it is the opposite because they use the sugar cane. Transportation cost go up because ethanol can not be piped. To corrosive.

    We will be paying more for ethanol and doing more damage to the environment than if we would just burn the fossil fuels. I am getting the feeling we just bought a big white elephant.

    Feel free to poke holes in my rant.
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    Default Re: Corn and Ethanol.

    David Pimental, a leading Cornell University agricultural expert, has calculated that powering the average U.S. automobile for one year on ethanol (blended with gasoline) derived from corn would require 11 acres of farmland, the same space needed to grow a year's supply of food for seven people. Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion into ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make one gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTUS. Thus, 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in it. Every time you make one gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTUs.

    http://healthandenergy.com/ethanol.htm
    Socrates: "Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequaled alike."

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    Default Re: Corn and Ethanol.

    Ethanol from corn: burning money and oil
    US politicians have been subsidising corn (maize) production, and its conversion to ethanol, for years. The idea is that it can be added to petrol where it both acts as fuel itself, and makes the petrol burn more efficiently and cleanly. Since it is not derived from fossil fuel it should reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help reduce American dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

    http://www.igreens.org.uk/ethanol_from_corn_.htm
    Last edited by Show-me; 01-23-2007 at 09:21 PM. Reason: Add link
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    Default Re: Corn and Ethanol.

    Socrates: "Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequaled alike."

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    Default Re: Corn and Ethanol.

    CURRENT ALLOCATION = 100% S AS OF C.O.B. 01/01/2014

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    Default Re: Corn and Ethanol.

    Alll I can say is-----don't use FOOD to power machines!!!!!! dumb ****!
    You like corn? I like corn! Let's make GAS from corn!!! Dumb ****!!!
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    Default Re: Corn and Ethanol.

    I don't see ethanol as the anwer in this picture.

    US Oil Demand

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    Talking Re: Corn and Ethanol.

    Personally I Belive They Should Use Beans
    The Ones I Ate Last Night In My Chilie
    Should Fuel A Couple Cars

    Whoaaaaaaaaaaaa
    Gota Go Again

    Md

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    Default Re: Corn and Ethanol.

    Corn is not the only crop suitable for ethanol conversion. There are others.

    Also ethanol was only one of the alternative fuels mentioned, There are others like biodeisel.


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    Default Re: Corn and Ethanol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Show-me View Post
    David Pimental, a leading Cornell University agricultural expert, has calculated that powering the average U.S. automobile for one year on ethanol (blended with gasoline) derived from corn would require 11 acres of farmland, the same space needed to grow a year's supply of food for seven people. Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion into ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make one gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTUS. Thus, 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in it. Every time you make one gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTUs.

    http://healthandenergy.com/ethanol.htm
    That's an old study from 2001. More recent advances have it now pegged the other way. This one, from Berkeley shows that corn can be a significant net gain. But other sources may do even better.

    There is another flaw- both these studies assume that the tractor plowing the fields, and the trucks carrying to market, are both going to be using oil. I would venture to guess that when we really begin to develop bio fuels, that the tractors and the trucks may run on either E85, or on a bio diesel product. Both of which would lower the oil footprint, and make it more in renewable alcohol's favor.

    Not sure if corn is the long-term solution though, sugar beets here in the north also hold promise.As does other materials. Corrn sounds good now, but we can grow other things that might be better. Brazil does it with sugar cane. Sugar has promise.

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    Default Re: Corn and Ethanol.

    From a show on the History channel last night:

    Sugar cane yields 2 times the amount of ethanol per acre compared to corn.
    Switchgrass yields 4 times the amount of ethanol per acre compared to corn.

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    Default Re: Corn and Ethanol.

    Forget the cost in acreage for ethanol. Whatever the cost, at least we will not be sending our dollars to the Middle East (including Iran) which is what our oil addiction is basically doing now. It has nothing to do with the environment. It is hard for me to be convinced that there is any other reason Bush is pushing so hard for alternative fuel (and going against the oil lobby) if he didn't see the real problem being that our oil addiction is funding terrorism.

    Give capitalism a chance. Now that the oil companies have to deal with real competition from ethannol, they are forced to look for and find the cheapest best way which will be accomplished using smarter and smarter technology.

    Corporations don't do well at finding new paths that are optimal for the country (which is why they MUST be monitored) but they do very well at finding the cheapest way of following paths that are set for them IMO.

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