• Jul 12th 2011 at 6:54PM
  • 7
Andersons, one of the U.S.' major players on the ethanol production scene, has started mixing cheaper soft red winter wheat into its corn-based biofuel. This move, according to Andersons, will drive down costs and lessen demand for corn. Andersons says the soft red winter wheat harvest is peaking, so the stuff is available in mass quantities. It's estimated that Andersons is currently mixing ten percent wheat in with corn.

Some industry analysts were initially surprised by the move, but most now see it as a savvy strategy for dealing with corn-related issues. Rich Feltes, an analyst at R.J. O'Brien in Chicago, told Reuters that, "With wheat cheaper than corn, they will likely continue to fit it into their mix to the extent their equipment will allow." And Chuck Woodside, chairman of the Renewable Fuels Association, says that:
Corn is going to be tight. If you have the capacity to be able to say over the next year you were going to be able to use a blend, you might be able to justify that.
It's been estimated that the ethanol industry uses 40 percent of the U.S.' corn, so adding an alternative crop into the mix seems logical to us.

[Source: Reuters | Image: User:H20 – C.C. License 2.0]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 4 Years Ago
      What if your car is allergic to gluten...? ?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let's not forget that the 40% of US corn actually comes from the 87% of US corn that is grown for animal feed. They extract the starch and the corn continues on it's path as much healthier animal feed. That being said, someone needs to start getting serious about cattails. They grow anywhere, purify water like no other plant and produce a large starchy bulb that is nearly perfect for making ethanol. No farmland or food crops need to be used.
      Ford Future
      • 4 Years Ago
      What ever happened to Switch-Grass. One of the few Good Ideas from President Bush.
        Chris M
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Switchgrass grows easily, but most of its carbohydrates ends up as cellulose. Therefore, enzymes must be used to break down the cellulose to get reasonable yields. Supplying the needed enzymes in quantity and at reasonable cost has been the stumbling block for cellulose derived ethanol. Wheat and corn puts a substantial amount of carbohydrates into starch, which yeasts can easily digest and make ethanol from. But even those plants product significant amounts of cellulose, so cellulosic processing could increase yields considerably.
      EVnerdGene
      • 4 Years Ago
      more food for fuel next, we'll be further subsidizing wheat farmers to grow more wheat for ethanol
      joceclam
      • 4 Years Ago
      Using food crops to make fuel is, in my opinion, rediculous when you consider the billions who are starving. The fact that we subsidize the activity only makes it worst.
      Chol H Yoon
      • 4 Years Ago
      Should we be using another source of biofuel that will compete with food? This is the reason that many are advocating killing all ethanol subsidies around the world.
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