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BUSTING THE ETHANOL MYTHS
Myth #1: It Takes More Energy to Produce Ethanol than You Get from It!
Most ethanol research over the past 25 years has been on the topic of energy returned on energy invested (EROEI). Public discussion has been dominated by the American Petroleum Institute’s aggressive distribution of the work of Cornell professor David Pimentel and his numerous, deeply flawed studies. Pimentel stands virtually alone in portraying alcohol as having a negative EROEI—producing le
Originally posted by Curious and Concerned
Interesting topic. Does anyone have any good sites to find info on hemp oil production?
Algae oil seems to be quite interesting too. Going to have to do more research
A Note on Rising Food Prices
The increases in biofuels production in the EU, U.S. and most other biofuel producing
countries have been driven by subsidies and mandates. The U.S. has a tax
credit available to blenders of ethanol of $0.51 per gallon and an import tariff of $0.54
per gallon, as well as a biodiesel blenders tax credit $1.00 per gallon. The U.S. mandated 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2012 in its 2005 legislation and raised the mandate to 15 billion gallons of ethanol from conventional sources (maize) by 2022 and 1.0 billion gallons of biodiesel by 2012 in energy legislation passed in late-2007. The new U.S. mandates will require ethanol production to more than double and biodiesel production to triple if they are met from domestic production.
V. Summary and Conclusions
The increase in internationally traded food prices from January 2002 to June 2008 was
caused by a confluence of factors, but the most important was the large increase in
biofuels production from grains and oilseeds in the U.S. and EU. Without these increases, global wheat and maize stocks would not have declined appreciably and price increases due to other factors would have been moderate. Land use changes in wheat exporting countries in response to increased plantings of oilseeds for biodiesel production limited expansion of wheat production that could have otherwise prevented the large declines in global wheat stocks and the resulting rise in wheat prices.
Originally posted by hawkiye
Glad to see some folks get it!
Still it looks like a few jumped on the thread without even reading the article and repeated the media mantra BS about ethanol taking food off of tables etc. Do your research folks none of the corn used for ethanol is used for food.
"'How much oil does ethanol replace?' The answer might surprise you. Very little oil - mostly diesel fuel for planting, tilling and harvesting crops - is required to produce ethanol. A recent publication in the journal Science shows that only about 0.04 MJ (mega joule, a measure of energy content) of petroleum is required to produce one MJ of ethanol. That is a 25:1 advantage in favor of ethanol production. Because ethanol has less energy per gallon than gasoline, we get more than 30 gallons of ethanol for every gallon of oil we "invest" to make the ethanol, versus eight-tenths of a gallon of gasoline per gallon of oil. When ethanol is used as E85 fuel in a flex-fuel vehicle, we are effectively getting around 800 miles per gallon of oil consumed."
"His calculations indicate that every MJ of ethanol can displace 28 MJ of petroleum, in other words ethanol greatly extends our existing supplies of petroleum. Using corn ethanol provides an 18% reduction in greenhouse gasses compared with petrol, while fibre-produced ethanol gives a 88% reduction compared to petrol."
"Michael Wang, of the Argonne National Laboratory’s Center for Transportation Research, said that many studies contradicted the claims of Pimentel and Patzek. He said that Argonne’s study of the same subject concluded that producing corn ethanol requires 26 percent less energy than it contains, and that cellulosic ethanol, made from switchgrass and other inexpensive plant sources, requires a whopping 90 percent less, partly because its byproducts can be burned for energy to power the processing plant."
"...a US Department of Agriculture study concludes that ethanol contains 34% more energy than is used to grow and harvest the corn and distill it into ethanol."
"Corn isn’t a very efficient crop, but luckily there are crops out there that are MANY times more efficient than corn. Brazil uses sugarcane to produce energy in a very efficient manner and is one of the most energy self-sustainable countries on the planet. The biomass parts of the plant that can’t be turned into ethanol are used to help distillation. It’s a very efficient method. There are other crops that are even more efficient than sugarcane, as alcohol can be made from anything with sugar or starch. There are also many companies and researchers working on creating cellulosic ethanol which will allow an even greater variety of plants to create ethanol. Regardless, some ethanol crops can be made very efficiently and produce MORE energy than consumed. It all depends on what crop, how it’s being grown, etc.
The people that cite this myth also often discount, or completely forget, the byproducts that result from manufacturing ethanol. Even corn ethanol results in a byproduct called DDGS. This ‘dried distillers grains with soluble’ still contain all of the protein and fat, and much of the cellulose, vitamins and minerals. The only thing that has been removed is the starch. This byproduct can still be used as an animal feed, and has been proven to be better than corn when fed to cattle (quicker cattle growth!). The removal of the starch, which goes through cattle undigested, allows quicker digestion and growth of the animal when DDGS is used."
How many gallons of Ethanol do you get per acre? 18 on the low end to 149 on the high end.... (some tout almost 450 gallons per acre! 450 gallons of ethanol compared to 10,000 to 100,000 gallons of algae oil, no comparison)
Sweet Sorghum produces 500 gallons of ethanol per acre, with the added advantage of being capable of producing 2 crops per year (yielding up to 1000 gallons per acre per year). It also yields as much as 5 tons of fiber per acre per harvest, as well as large grain tops. It grows in marginal soils and uses only a third the water of corn to produce.