Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ethanol Continues to Be Oversold As Magic Potion

Corn-derived ethanol has been heralded as the magic potion that can drive us to the promised land of energy freedom while at the same time slowing global warming and helping America’s farmers. To that end, the ethanol industry is urging Congress to increase the share of ethanol required in gasoline to 15 percent from 10.

This is not a surprising request, considering that the industry’s facilities are 20% idle and that several large ethanol refiners have recently filed for bankruptcy, despite a 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit and a high tariff to limit imports of sugar-based ethanol from Brazil and other countries.

Like most alternative fuel sources, the potential contribution of ethanol has been oversold. It has been estimated that converting the entire U.S. corn crop to ethanol would yield energy equal to a mere 12% of our gasoline consumption.

~Bernard Weinstein, professor of economics at University of North Texas,
in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (HT: NCPA)

7 Comments:

At 7/09/2009 10:00 AM, Blogger fboness said...

Fifteen per cent ethanol in gas is a car killer. Knowing more of this ethanol boondoggle was on the way was the main reason for buying a Diesel Jeep Liberty last April. They haven't figured out how to put ethanol in Diesel fuel - yet.

If you are stuck with a gas car, look for stations that still have premium without ethanol. For some reason, people haven't caught on that premium without ethanol is cheaper than regular with ethanol on cost per mile basis. This is because mileage with ethanol contaminated fuel is that terrible.

 
At 7/09/2009 10:26 AM, Blogger QT said...

Lots of interesting developments in diesel. Even Formula 1 is going diesel.

Diesel from wood chips can be used in a regular diesel engine or blended with bio-diesel or petroleum diesel.

 
At 7/09/2009 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And ethanol is terrible for outboard motors and their fuel systems.

 
At 7/09/2009 12:34 PM, Blogger rufus said...

Usually when I read an article in which the first sentence is wrong I quit reading. However, it was a short paragraph.

They are NOT asking for a 15% Mandate. They are asking for the license to blend up to 15% where desired.

We're, currently, blending about 10.5 Billion Gallons, or 8% ethanol in our gasoline. We're using, after allowing for the Distillers Grains (the high protein Co-Product of ethanol production) about 15 million acres, or 20% of our corn acreage.

So, I guess, at present, 12% ethanol would require 30% of present corn acreage, or .02 (two percent) of our Arable Land. Arable land is non-forested land suitable for agriculture.

Most localities, especially near water, blend at least one grade of non-ethanol gasoline.

At present, I pretty much "break even" running 85% Ethanol (E85) in my Flexfuel Chevy Impala,

And, NO American Kids are Dying for My Fuel.

 
At 7/09/2009 12:37 PM, Blogger rufus said...

Oh, btw, fboness, Scania (the largest diesel manufacturer in Europe) is building buses with diesel engines designed to get 43% Efficiency on Ethanol.

 
At 7/10/2009 1:19 PM, Anonymous Rand said...

Perhaps we should call it "panaceaol".

 
At 7/10/2009 2:28 PM, Anonymous Benny The Free Marketeer said...

Ethanol is another federal subsidy to rural areas and farmers. It will become a permanent part of our government and economy.
It is another example of a market intrusion endorsed and embraced by the Republican Party.
But, let's beat up on those guys making minimum wage.

 

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