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Country Discussion Topics
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Ethanol Fiasco?
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DeadCarp    Posted 06-07-2002 at 08:34:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Does growing corn for ethanol pay? According to this, we're digging ourselves in deeper. *********

"ENERGY DEFICIT. At the end of it all, alcohol production is gushing red ink, says Pimentel. He calculates that it takes 131,000 BTUs to produce a gallon of ethanol. But a gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTUs. "About 70% more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in ethanol," says Pimental. The deficit: "Every time you make 1 gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTU." "

tom/wis    Posted 06-07-2002 at 18:49:19       [Reply]  [No Email]

The article you attached says that it takes 140 gallons of fossil fuel for 1 acre and as a full time farmer I use from 2 to 5 depending on year. The latest statistics for state of the art technology for ethanol production shows about a 34 percent gain for energy produced over energy consumed. Our national defense spends a lot of time and money to protect the transport of middle eastern oil. It costs a minimum 2 dollars on national defense to protect every 1 dollar of middle eastern oil purchased. Just a little food for thought and these figures are from the department of adminstration.

DeadCarp    Posted 06-07-2002 at 21:00:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yeah, that number kinda made me wonder too - i remember cultivating corn with a Farmall H all day on a tank of gas. I'm sure we'd have soil-banked any pesky acre that took TEN tankfuls by itself!
The TOTAL cost of U.S. gas, when you count the subsidies we pay for regulation, exploration, development, extraction, shipping, processing, security and delivery is about $7, from other articles I've read. That helps turn this data around too. Course, Pimental gets his wages from taxes too, so does he write for the hens or the foxes?

Farmer Wantabe    Posted 06-07-2002 at 10:29:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Heck, them there government rev-in-newers keep blowing up the dern stills and maken life misserable in general for the producers round here. Now I see why, they is producing corn squeezens themselves, can't figger out why they want to sell it fer $1.50 a gallon as moter gas when there is a ready markit at $10 a quart fer medicinal puposes?

Screaminghollow    Posted 06-07-2002 at 10:15:15       [Reply]  [Send Email]
He is the expert. Ex is a has been and spurt is a little drip. I don't believe he is totally correct. Statistics can bend things around a lot. If it was that expensive, there'd be no profit in it.
as to the statistics part. In 1956 an English farmer foolishly stuck the butt of his shotgun down a fox hole to roust out the kits. One of the kits managed to get it's paw into the trigger guard and the gun discharged killing the farmer. Now hunters and farmers shoot at animals all the time and miss a good portion of the time. Statistically, based on the dead farmer, Animals are better shots because 100% of the time they've fired at humans, the animal scored a kill. (So much for the argument to keep and arm bears.)

There is a certain pollution factor advoidance benefit, but the professor assumes that the heat to distill the ethanol is more than that produced. It of course depends on the number of BTU's necessary to heat the fermented corn mixture to 180 degrees, or whatever temperature point at which alcohol evaporates. In addition, the corn mash is still there with a value for feed, plastic or whatever else is done with it.

Old Sarge    Posted 06-07-2002 at 10:39:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey there, you sound like one a Old Sarges Business Statistics Analysis students. I used ta tell em, "If you let me write the questions on which to base the data. I will prove to you,using statistical analyses, that the moon is made out of green cheese."

Then gave them a home work study on data collection. I could tell some really funny stories bout the results.

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