All your corn are belong to us

Ethanol — A Gasoline replacement — maybe

I’ve long supported the idea of home-grown fuel. I know it’s not as efficient, but I think it would be well worth it. And who would we rather be paying $60 a barrel to? The Saudis, the Russians, the Venezuelans, or the Nebraskans? (Yes, I know it would really end up being Archer-Daniels-Midland, but you know what I mean…)

Mr. Completely has much more so go read.

As for the energy required to turn corn into motor fuel, I have one word for you: nookyoulerr.

Comments

  1. Ethanol as a replacement for gas?? In a word No. Even if we decide that all the corn in Iowa and Nebraska is for ethanol production only. We would not have enough corn. Moreover, as a fuel, ethanol has less then half the energy density as gas. End result is less, food to eat, really expensive fuel, and a lot of smog.

  2. in it’s defense, the corn is grown to make feedstarch for animals, and sweetner for our Soda(I hear Canada uses real sugar! Bastards) it’s the leftover stuff which is made into alchohol. There is no real reason why anyother plant can’t be used; but since there is such a huge meat industry, if we were to grow something else, like switchgrass, we would have more ethanol per acre, but meat would be more expensive. We should probably have more vegetables anyway. There is a similar situation with soy oil used for biodiesel; grown in part for protein to feed animals, the oily leftover is used to make fuels, better oil crops exist. (the ancient Chinese originally grew the then inedible soybean to restore the soil instead of just being fallow)

  3. They’re talking rape seed oil to supplement petrol & diesel in Euroland. PS: a Liter of petrol (gas) in Ireland is currently G

  4. You aren’t limited to just corn to make ethanol. Spoiled crops, such as apples, ferment just fine. In fact, any spoiled fruit, otherwise not saleable, can go into the alcohol production. There’s lots of possibilities, and a lot of them are currently being wasted. Commuter vehicles, due to their shorter daily range of operation, are probably best suited, at least initially, for alcohol fuel. Emissions from an alcohol fueled engine are basically water and CO2. There has been some speculation on the effects of the additional water vapor into the atmosphere, but nothing conclusive, at least that I’ve read. Biodiesel? I didn’t discuss biodiesel in the article, since the topic was ethanol and ethanol production, but biodiesel can also be a big part of the solution…. Thanks for all the good comments on this subject. ………Mr. Completely

  5. Large scale shift to Ethanol production as a replacement for gas, is possible, but there would need be a severe price shock with oil. Something on the scale of inital arab oil embargo, but the price shock would have to maintained for a while. Oil price per barrel in the 150 to 180 range. Ethanol and gas mixtures we are currently doing is in my opinion one of the worse ideas to limit smog ever forced upon us. Now all that negativity aside. Ethanol does have a promising future as a hydrogen source for micro-fuel cells. Basically, ethanol would be an excellent raplacement for the current battery types. {lithium, alkli, nickel and so forth) When used to replace batteries, you actually have a good environmental claim, while having a performance gain, and cost advantages. Puch the use of Ethanol as a hydrogen source for micro-fuel cells, and you’ll get your upgrade in the ethanol infrastructure.

  6. I would not get your hopes up about ethanol. The amount of energy required to plant, grow, harvest, ferment, distill and distribute ethanol from corn is ridiculous. Estimates range from a VERY optimistic .75 lb consumed per lb produced, all the way to 1.2 lb consumed per lb produced (meaning it wastes more energy than it creates). Most engineers believe that no net energy is produced. The whole process is designed to help farmers, not create energy 🙁 This article( http://www.unh.edu/p2/biodiesel/article_alge.html ) by the University of NH talks about making energy from algae. It is very intriguing, and talks about 100% energy self reliance for a couple hundred billion dollars, but it hasn’t been updated in a year, so I wonder if they hit a snag 🙁 ps. Please allow href style linking. It makes for a much nicer looking comment. Thanks