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Old 11-12-2013, 09:06 AM   #1
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E-15…False economy

From today's Detroit News;

Auto group says E15 may damage vehicles | The Detroit News


The comments at the end of the story are interesting to say the least.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:35 AM   #2
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ethanol fuel amounts to environmental and economic fraud

From FuelFix Magazine:

"The net energy ratio of corn-based ethanol (useful energy divided by the energy required to produce a unit of ethanol) is at best 1.25 but in practice a lot worse. Some have calculated a ratio less than one, meaning that it takes more energy to produce ethanol from corn than the energy content of the fuel."

So, even the best number (1.25) means it takes over 3/4 of a gallon of fuel to produce a gallon of ethanol. Not to mention the water.

"Summing up the incremental impact on food prices and the direct government subsidies, the use of corn based ethanol costs the country perhaps an incremental amount of nearly $4 per gallon"


--------------

The high water cost of ethanol fuel from The Gazette

"The citizens of Burley, Idaho, analyzed the question of constructing an ethanol plant in their town; simply by dividing the water used at the plant by the gallons of ethanol produced. When that number came to 1/8 of the town's daily total water supply, or 3 gallons of water for every gallon of ethanol; they simply squelched the plant.

"
Ethanol is so corrosive that it can't be shipped by pipeline, and the added cost of tank truck distribution is never factored into an efficiency equation."

However, they neglected to consider the amount of water to raise the corn used by the plant. With 50 acres needed to grow corn for a gallon of ethanol... that equals 1.7 billion gallons of water, or 75 more gallons of water per gallon of ethanol."
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:46 AM   #3
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IMPO, the article in post 1 is accurate.

The positions and or data referenced in post 2 are either outdated, false or a combination of both. Mostly outdated. There have been tremendous strides in production efficiencies in the last 5 years or so.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:14 PM   #4
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Lots of politics at work here. Big oil. Big Agriculture. Automakers.
The Washington Post has a few articles on this subject. In this article it talks of an ethanol plant in my hometown of Emmetsburg, IA. There are some interesting viewpoints.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:25 PM   #5
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Cellulosic isn't "dead". Development slowed dramatically when the economy dumped and investors got out or went under. DuPont (big $$$$) just finished a cellosic plant about 30 miles north of Des Moines. (well it was almost done when I was next door at a wet mill ethanol plant last Feb.) BTW, DuPont owns Pioneer Hybrid who has been partnered with Iowa State and working on some interesting hybrids for corn (not just the kernel, but the stover as well) for a long time. My understanding is the cellulosic plant will utilize the stover.

Per Iowa State agronomy dept. (per a seminar I attended) only 12% of the stover needs to be returned to the soil to maintain soil quality. The rest can be processed.

Here's the announcement article from 2011

http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/d...lant-at-nevada
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:20 PM   #6
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There are government mandates to raise the proportion of renewable energy used nationwise to certain levels by certain timetables. From the Bush adminstration. The mandates are a part of the climate change politics. Renewable fuels are considered to be CO2 neutral. Increased use of ethanol is one already developed way of achieving these goals. Increased use of ethanol is not being done to save money or energy. Using more ethanol is a cost to reduce CO2 emission.

I do not know where cellulosic ethanol development is today. Six years ago one developer was talking about $6.00 a gallon as a minimum target price from switch grass.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
There are government mandates to raise the proportion of renewable energy used nationwise to certain levels by certain timetables. From the Bush adminstration. The mandates are a part of the climate change politics. Renewable fuels are considered to be CO2 neutral. Increased use of ethanol is one already developed way of achieving these goals. Increased use of ethanol is not being done to save money or energy. Using more ethanol is a cost to reduce CO2 emission.

I do not know where cellulosic ethanol development is today. Six years ago one developer was talking about $6.00 a gallon as a minimum target price from switch grass.
I addition to CO2, I think equally important is offsetting foreign crude, from both a national security and economic position. I'd rather pay someone here than someone there.

CNG is "homegrown" as well....infrastructure....infrastructure....
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
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Question History repeats....

.....what goes around comes around agianandagainandagain.


Corn is for cowz & licker.

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Old 01-03-2014, 06:17 PM   #9
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Yeah look at thoz gangstaz. They probably have lots a licker!
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:05 PM   #10
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I wonder if there is any data on how much water is taken from the Ogallala Aquifer to water the corn grown on the great plains to add to gasoline?
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:47 AM   #11
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I found this article from the Ethanol Producer Magazine about "The Future of the Ogallala Aquifer". It appears that the estimates are about 780 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of ethanol from irrigated corn (this includes the irrigation water and the water for conversion).

Ethanol Producer Magazine ? The Latest News and Data About Ethanol Production
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:06 AM   #12
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Alcohol from trash

This short video of my hometown of Emmetsburg, Iowa shows how the cellulosic ethanol market is helping the local economy. Before the big farm crisis of the early eighties, there were three farm equipment dealers in town. By the time I left in '89 there were none. It is nice to see some investment in rural America. A tiny fraction of the corn produced in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri is from irrigated land. When you go farther west to Nebraska, Kansas and down here in Texas, it is almost all irrigated. When I was a young boy, I was always told "If you need irrigation to grow a crop of corn, you are farming in the wrong place". That was my great grandfather's conclusion after returning to Iowa from western Nebraska in the early 1900s.
It is true that making ethanol consumes lots of water. Fracking for oil and gas uses a lot of water as well.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:27 AM   #13
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As a native of Cedar Falls, IA, I would concur with Top in regards to the limited use of irrigation in Iowa (the top corn producer). The damage being seen is the removal of land from conservation reserve and the entry of new land into cultivation. In the late 70's, I was a big pheasant hunter and you could find pheasants along any fence row bisecting farm fields. Today, most of those fence rows are gone and vast expanses are cultivated right up to the roadside. In addition to the conservation reserve, some land was too damp to farm and not worth the expense of tiling. Not today. Basically, it is not worth the trouble to go pheasant hunting when I head back to IA for Thanksgiving. No cover == no birds. The other environmental effect is that, due to the extensive tiling, the water holding capacity of the land has been severely limited. That has lead to more severe flooding. We've had it in Cedar Falls, but the real victim has been Cedar Rapids.

Like anything, there are trade-offs, but you need to know what they are, and the people affected by the downsides have to be part of the solution.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:33 AM   #14
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Not to raise another environmental issue...and off topic...but Pheasants are not indigenous to North America, but were imported from China. Their aggressive attacks to the natural Prairie Chicken population has made them very near extinction. The adults lay their eggs in the PC nest and their hatchlings kill the PC chicks.
I guess my only point is....whatever we humans do, we need to manage the short and long term affects of our actions. That doesn't mean "don't do it", but rather balance all the ramifications of our decisions and actions. And prepare for them.
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