Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ethanol production will save us all from the evil of oil!!!!!!

Please keep this in mind when talking about using food to power cars. "20 % of all fossil fuel in USA is used in relation to food production in this country !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was listening in class to ethanol discussion and later on in the week, I heard an interview with an author. He was writing about healthy eating, yet he ended up going over very economic stuff as well as political stuff. I guess it’s just that pervasive, politics and money, are involved with everything in life. He begins with discussion about the I industrialization of the food supply. And all the evils of bad diet etc… but about half way through the interview ethanol comes up.
Any way here is the author and his book

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals; Knight professor of journalism, University of California, Berkeley
Ethanol production is described here in detail

If you have 10 minutes I recommend you listen to this clip fast forward to the ethanol discussion if you want to save time.

After 6.30 (6 min 30 seconds)…listen in to the discussion till about 17 minutes.

So it takes 1/3 gal of oil to produce enough corn to make about 1\3 gallon of ethanol which has less energy content than gasoline per gallon… If the president wants to use corn ethanol to solve oil problems then he is misinformed as a leader I wish his advisors were smarter! And had him qualify his statement with non-corn based. Basically to solve an oil crisis it is not a great idea to use corn…Why? You ask…. Well for one thing Corn is an oil product!!!!!!! Ethanol production should be from low cost items like saw grass etc.. Corn just takes tons of energy to make. So our investment will not pay dividends.

At 19:29-he talks about corn based economy problems.

The subsidy system has caused the perceived problem so we have problems with allocation of tax dollars causing another problem that we are considering subsidizing as well.

Reminds me of some quote about good after bad… think it involved money. The government is just so huge it cant see the left hand and the right at the same time so it ends up paying out to cause a problem and then paying to solve same problem. It’s the same fundamental problem that communism had there are so many choices to make in an economy that those decisions should be made by the market to be efficient. Communism thought a central control could make all the right decisions and I keep seeing when there is a failure of the market it usually involves taking power from the market to decide.

I also found this
View Ethanol Today magazine's "Technical Connections" series on the steps of the ethanol production process.
Study: Ethanol Production Consumes Six Units Of Energy To Produce Just One
In 2004, approximately 3.57 billion gallons of
ethanol were used as a gas additive in the United States, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). During the February State of the Union address, President George Bush urged Congress to pass an energy bill that would pump up the amount to 5 billion gallons by 2012. UC Berkeley geoengineering professor Tad W. Patzek thinks that's a very bad idea.

"I've come to the conclusion that if we're smart about it, nuclear power plants may be the lesser of the evils when we compare them with coal-fired plants and their impact on global warming," he says. "We're going to pay now or later. The question is what's the smallest price we'll have to pay?"
Some other tidbits from the interview that were interesting.
28:34 talks about sustainability of food production.
80 % of Iowa food is imported…
56 calories to move 1 calorie of food to cross country “real efficient” eh.

We subsidies corn syrup and tariff sugar cane. Thus preventing cane sugars domestic price from being competitive

Ethanol infrastructure Not there to distribute it and since energy content also not there we will need to consume more to receive same marginal benefit.

Corn costs oil to produce. Its energy is from oil not necessarily the sun…and its use is pervasive. Corn syrup. Beef, chicken, lots of products are corn based. It’s one crop, which we use extensively.

A large percentage of all our stuff is from corn… including us… chemical fertilizer I bushel of corn takes 1\3 gallon of oil we produce 20 billion bushels a year!!!!!!!!!
Corn is subsidized, then we get Ethanol from corn, so if they subsidise ethanol? its duble down time on the tax dollars Is a break-even process… maybe 90% waste?

So at best we get 10% return. On our oil input. What a deal sign me up.

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