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Directory:Ethanol Woes

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In theory, Ethanol is a "renewable" fuel. However, there are other factors that must be considered when weighing its overall plausibility as a fuel source. It competes with the food supply, driving up food prices. As a fuel it is hard on engines. The crops growth contributes to top soil depletion.


Contents

The Food verses Fuel Hoax

Please please study distillers grains. Look it up on wikipedia and search the web. You will find recipes at [1].

Producing biofuels by fermentation, distillation and pressing oils does not destroy the protein content of the food grain. For every ton of ethanol produced you get a little more than a ton of dry distillers grains with Solubles(DDGS).[2] Yes the food industry has been a little slow in catching on that distillers grains is available in such huge quantities. Ethanol producers have had to give it away. If it wasn't for Mexico's protectionist policies on grain products they could have made tortillas from DDGS. DDGS is 80% protein. Yes it tastes different but if your going to starve because something tastes funny; goodriddens. Note that:

  • The price of rice and potatoes has risen significantly and nobody makes significant quantities of biofuel from either. It's the price of oil that matters.
  • For the first time in about 30+ years third world grain producers are making a profit because subsidised American and EU grain is not under cutting them in the market. See [3] and [4] and [5]

In the case of biodiesel the oils press cake retains all the protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals of the seed. It's milled into soy or rapeseed flour. For each ton of biodiesel you get 2 to 6 tons of oils seed flour. That’s the protein in some of the emergency aid food. The high protein biscuits we drop on refugees are made from wet distillers grains. Oils seed cake is not used because some are allergic to soy. Algae oil will also produce a ton of protein per ton of oil. The effort to make that edible protein is already underway. [6] Cellulosic ethanol enzymes and the yeasts they feed can be tailored to make edible DDGS although the ethanol yield would be reduced a little. We are in year two of the biofuels era. Ethanol and biodiesel can feed the world and fuel it. Ethanol and biodiesel are generic commodities; if a producer wants a significant profit the quality and quantity of the distillers grains and press cake will matter. I believe we are heading for a quadrupling of world food supply once cellulosic ethanol spins off cellulosic starch and protein byproducts and cheap algae oil farming technology becomes available to the Spiralina farmers. One hectare of the algae Spiralina produces as much protein as 24 hectares of soy and 180 hectares of rice. [7] and [8]

If you want all this happening faster will someone give me a lab! I can get going. Wesleybruce 03:44, 7 Mar 2008 (EST)



Videos


(2.31 Minutes) Biofuel scam: Reality check on ethanol.
(YouTube; April 8, 2008)

- - - -

Biofuel Hoax


Biting into the Food Supply

  • Biofuels > Ethanol > Woes >
    Ethanol fuel to blame for worldwide food shortage? (video) - Between 2005-2010, the price of corn per bushel has more than doubled. Approximately 60 percent of the US corn crop goes to making ethanol fuel and is blamed by some for the worldwide food shortage. The US government requires oil companies to use the controversial fuel in gasoline in which the US burns one sixth of world's corn supply on the road. (YouTube / RTAmerica; January 13, 2012)
  • Biofuels Could Lead to Mass Hunger Deaths - Diverting sugar and maize for biofuels could lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths from hunger worldwide, the United Nations' food envoy warned. (June 15, 2007)

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/f1a136eb64603110vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html (excerpts below)

Is America Headed for a Food Shortage?
June 2007

A new study suggests that ethanol production could drive up corn prices, leaving U.S. grains and meat in short supply

Ethanol is a renewable, homegrown fuel that can help lower U.S. dependence on foreign oil. But as more and more ethanol is made from corn, less and less corn is available for food production, and that’s causing some unforeseen problems.

Corn is a mainstay of American agriculture— it’s an important ingredient in cereals and baked goods, and corn syrup is used to make processed foods like candy, chips and soft drinks. But most importantly, corn is the major source of food for cattle, pigs, turkeys and chickens that are headed for the dinner table.

A recent study conducted by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University (which receives funding from grocery manufacturers and livestock producers) reported that U.S. ethanol production could consume more than half of U.S. corn, wheat and coarse grains by 2012, driving up food prices and causing shortages. The study estimates that booming ethanol production has already raised U.S. food prices by $47 per person annually. In Mexico, protests have already erupted over the high price of corn tortillas, a staple food in the local diet."


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12934470/ (excerpts below)

What do the numbers show?

Last year the U.S. produced just under 4 billion gallons of ethanol, serving just 1 percent of U.S. fuel needs. Academics say production can’t go much higher.

“If we used all the corn produced in the United States to produce ethanol, it would provide only 7 percent of our total vehicle fuel use,? said Cornell agriculture professor David Pimental.

Here’s another sober way of looking at it: if every car in America was fully powered by ethanol, it would take 97 percent of U.S. soil to grow enough corn to support it.

And that's not all. It turns out that it takes more energy to make ethanol than it could ever generate.

“About 30 percent more fossil energy is required to produce a gallon of ethanol than you actually get out in ethanol,? said Pimental.

“All in all, it’s in fact a very inefficient system of converting one kind of fossil energy into another kind of fossil energy,? said Patzek.

That hasn't curbed the National Corngrowers Association's ambitions. It plans to increase ethanol output from 3.9 billion gallons last year to 16 billion gallons by 2016 — serving 10

Top Soil Depletion

http://www.energybulletin.net/28610.html (excerpts below)

Peak Soil: Why cellulosic ethanol, biofuels are unsustainable and a threat to America
10 Apr 2007

Ethanol is an agribusiness get-rich-quick scheme that will bankrupt our topsoil.

Fuels from biomass are not sustainable, are ecologically destructive, have a net energy loss, and there isn?t enough biomass in America to make significant amounts of energy because essential inputs like water, land, fossil fuels, and phosphate ores are limited.

Erosion is happening ten to twenty times faster than the rate topsoil can be formed by natural processes (Pimentel 2006).

Corn Biofuel (i.e. butanol, ethanol, biodiesel) is especially harmful because:

  • Row crops such as corn and soy cause 50 times more soil erosion than sod crops
  • Corn uses more water, insecticide, and fertilizer than most crops
  • growing continuous corn increases eutrophication by 189%, global warming by 71%, and acidification by 6% (Powers 2005).
  • Farmers want to plant corn on highly-erodible, water protecting, or wildlife sustaining Conservation Reserve Program land.
  • Crop residues are essential for soil nutrition, water retention, and soil carbon. Making cellulosic ethanol from corn residues -- the parts of the plant we don't eat (stalk, roots, and leaves) ? removes water, carbon, and nutrients.

Hard on Engines

http://www.jwardell.com/mini/2006/06/27/ethanol-gas-problems/ (excerpts below)

Ethanol Gas Problems; Posted on Tuesday 27 June 2006 at 11:45 pm

As you know last week I was towed back from MINIsOnTop because my fuel pump died. What you might not know was that it was killed by the 10% ethanol gas that has become common. And I am very much not alone.

What’s really going on here? First let’s have a look at Ethanol Gasoline. Ethanol is an alcohol usually derived from corn. Its use is mainly political, to support U.S. Farmers.

It does not save money or reduce foreign oil dependency, as it doesn’t offset the additional costs to refine and transport.

For example,

  • It cannot be transferred through pipelines as it will corrode them, instead it must be transported by truck and added to local fuel depot batches.
  • Ethanol has a lower energy content than gasoline, and therefore you get less power and miles per gallon using it.
  • Ethanol alone is slightly corrosive, mainly to seals in fuel systems not designed to use them (This is where the new E85 vehicles are updated), but should be harmless at low percentages.
  • However the property that concerns us most is that while water does not combine with normal gasoline, ethanol absorbs it.
  • Furthermore the ethanol can separate from the gasoline at low temperatures and create a much higher concentration than if they were mixed evenly.

Boosts Oil Company Profits

On June 16, 2007, Jake Speed wrote:

Who is it that decided to add and remove alcohol depending on the seasons? Whom ever it was has helped the oil companies dramatically increase profits. They add it in the winter when mixtures need to be richer. Alcohol leans the mixture. In the summer mixtures need to be leaner and they remove it which richens the mixture. This has been going on for years and I have never heard anyone ever question what logic was used to make that decision. It certainly was not a decision that was made to benefit the consumer or the environment. I know that I lose over 15% in mileage when I use gas with alcohol added.


  • OPEC Cautions West Against Biofuels - While the price of oil sits at nearly a nine-month high, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has warned the West that the development of biofuels could further drive up the price of oil. If OPEC makes good on its word, it will increase American inflationary pressure and depress America’s consumer economy. (The Trumpet; June 11, 2007)

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