posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 10:35 AM
reply to post by dr_strangecraft
Most wild grasses have way more cellulose and fewer sugars. Even though corn is not as good as cane, it's still far more potent than
undomesticated grasses. You can make ethanol from garbage, but it frequently takes more energy to produce than it creates for fuel.
That is precisely why we use corn instead of wild grasses. However, from www.sciencedaily.com...
Patzek's ethanol critique began during a freshman seminar he taught in which he and his students calculated the energy balance of the biofuel.
Taking into account the energy required to grow the corn and convert it into ethanol, they determined that burning the biofuel as a gasoline additive
actually results in a net energy loss of 65 percent. Later, Patzek says he realized the loss is much more than that even.Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
I have heard several differing statements about how much energy it takes to produce corn ethanol, but the most optimistic indicates no net energy
profit, just a break-even scenario.
From a cash-crop point of view, the patented varieties produce such a higher yield that the hierloom varieties cannot compete. Since most US
farmers are all about maximizing bushels per acre, there isn't a lot of interest out side of research.
I can't disagree with this, as it is the purpose of any business (that includes Ma and Pa Kettle's farm) to maximize profits. Yet this would appear
to be the reasoning behind the use of oil companies relying on corn ethanol. Corn takes a lot of room to grow compared to other crops, and corn is the
most genetically modified crop we have. All of the high-yield varieties are patented, meaning that the patent owner has full control of the crop, even
though they did not raise it. Contractually, seeds cannot be retained by the farmer, at risk of extremely high penalties. I even remember a thread a
while back about one farmer who was being sued by the seed producer over his crop's pollen cross-pollinating a neighboring corn field.
It sounds more and more like the farmers, instead of being business owners themselves, are becoming employees of the seed producers. It also sounds to
me like someone has gotten themselves a nice, sweet little monopoly, and all this sugar could mess that up. How terrible for them! Perhaps we should
go ahead and learn to eat the wild grasses so they can have the corn for their ethanol.
Edit to add: I just reread this post and I want to make sure there is no misunderstanding. I am not disagreeing with you, nor attacking your post. I
am simply extending it to a more conspiratorial level.
[edit on 26-6-2008 by TheRedneck]