• Aug 13, 2012
As it was four years ago during another election year, corn ethanol is once again the focal point for heated exchange in the U.S. The federal government is feeling the vise tighten in the corn ethanol debate, as the issues flip and flop between gasoline prices going up and global food prices increasing. The worst drought in more than 50 years is also playing a role.

Last Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration said exports of corn-based ethanol were going to be hurt by the drop in corn production due to drought conditions. It also said that prices for America's gasoline blended with the domestic fuel shouldn't rise significantly. The story changed a bit two days later, when the Department of Agriculture stated that the terrible drought caused more damage than expected to corn and soybean crops. Food prices jumped six percent last month and it looks like they'll continue rising, experts say, bringing back the food-versus-fuel debate.

International pressure is being applied. United Nations food official Jose Graziano da Silva is calling for an "immediate, temporary suspension" of the mandate to stave off another world food crisis.

Some are saying that the situation isn't all that bad. Geoff Cooper, writing for the Renewable Fuels Association, says:

While this year's harvest [in the U.S.] will be considerably smaller than initially expected, it is remarkable that farmers are still expected to produce the eighth-largest corn crop on record despite experiencing the worst drought in 50 years and the hottest month of July in recorded history. ...
World corn production was cut 6% based on the U.S. drought, but total foreign corn production was unchanged from July. Increased production in Argentina, Brazil, and China offset yield reductions in the EU and former Soviet Union. This year's global corn crop will still be the second-largest on record, according to USDA
.

The White House is looking at the numbers now and will work with the Environmental Protection Agency and the USDA on carefully implementing the Renewable Fuel Standard. U.S. fuel companies are supposed to convert about 40 percent of the corn crop into biofuel to meet the federal standards, and it might receive a waiver from the White House. However, with strong farm belt support and an election looming, many political analysts say the odds of a waiver are low. Farmers and ethanol producers may have lost the 30-year-old corn ethanol subsidy at the end of last year, but they still have influence in Washington.


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  • 41 Comments
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ 2 Wheeled Menace That's odd, someone evidently likes completely unregulated gas exploration and exploitation.....
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ 2 Wheeled Menace I understand, (and share) your concern ! The interests of both the Natural Gas industry and the environment (govt too, for that matter) would be best served by expediting the establishment of a strict code of practice with proper environmental impact studies. Such a code should be supported by legislation and government monitoring to ensure that the industry follows best practice procedures. Such regulations would deter speculators and low quality exploiters. If the taxpayer is asked to support the industry, it's only fit and proper that the taxpayer should have say in regulating an American resource. Issues like land use rights, rehabilitation guarantee funds etc should be developed. Regulations should assist the NG industry to develop in a responsible manner for everyone's benefit. The industry shouldn't be stifled, but aided, by well thought out regulations.
      • 2 Years Ago
      There is no logical reason to use food to produce ethanol when farm waste, forest waste, and urban garbage could be used to manufacture methanol which can be converted into high octane gasoline. Marcel F. Williams
        Rob J
        • 2 Years Ago
        The issue is time. Cellulosic ethanol is still nowhere near mass production stages (and the enzymes used are still inefficient and expensive). While corn ethanol is NOT the most efficient means of producing biofuels, the current system is already in place and with the right modifications, it can be an effective stop-gap source until future systems are ready. As a side note, I work in a lab at the University of British Columbia which is working on producing ethanol from poplar trees so while I am optimistic about our work - I know it has a long way to go.
        carney373
        • 2 Years Ago
        Instead of making methanol into gasoline, just use the methanol itself as vehicle fuel. Burns cleaner, higher octane. You get lowel mileage but the per unit price is even lower, so you pay less per mile even with higher sales volume. The cost of making new gasoline cars methanol-compatible is trivial, less than $130 per new car at the factory for automakers, even as lilttle as 41 cents. The proposed Open Fuel Standards Act would make methanol and ethanol compatibiilty a required standard feature like seat belts in gasoline cars. See OpenFuelStandard dot org .
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        I agree with you in theory, right up until the bean-counting begins. We definitely need to be ramping up cellulosic ethanol over the long-term. But right now our current ethanol production is cheaper than the current cost of next-gen bio-fuels. That will change, it will just take time and research.
        carney373
        • 2 Years Ago
        Instead of making methanol into gasoline, just use the methanol itself as vehicle fuel. Burns cleaner, higher octane. You get lowel mileage but the per unit price is even lower, so you pay less per mile even with higher sales volume. The cost of making new gasoline cars methanol-compatible is trivial, less than $130 per new car at the factory for automakers, even as lilttle as 41 cents. The proposed Open Fuel Standards Act would make methanol and ethanol compatibiilty a required standard feature like seat belts in gasoline cars. See OpenFuelStandard dot org .
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like we will have soon an even better bio energy generation process than the long debated food for fuel method. AOL sister site Engadget reports: "Researchers create super-efficient microbial fuel cell, dream of selling excess electricity" In short: it can generate 10 to 50 (or even 100) times more electricity per volume from wastewater than similar technologies. In addition, almost any type of organic waste material can be used to produce electricity – not only wastewater, but also grass straw, animal waste, and byproducts from such operations as the wine, beer or dairy industries. http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/14/researchers-efficient-microbial-fuel-cell-sell-electricity/?m=false Oregon State University site (researchers): "MAJOR ADVANCE MADE IN GENERATING ELECTRICITY FROM WASTEWATER" CORVALLIS, Ore. – Engineers at Oregon State University have made a breakthrough in the performance of microbial fuel cells that can produce electricity directly from wastewater, opening the door to a future in which waste treatment plants not only will power themselves, but will sell excess electricity... ...The new approach would produce significant amounts of electricity while effectively cleaning the wastewater [thus] the treatment of wastewater could be a huge energy producer, not a huge energy cost. Experts estimate that about 3 percent of the electrical energy consumed in the United States and other developed countries is used to treat wastewater, and a majority of that electricity is produced by fossil fuels that contribute to global warming. But the biodegradable characteristics of wastewater, if tapped to their full potential, could theoretically provide many times the energy that is now being used to process them, with no additional greenhouse emissions. The OSU system has now been proven at a substantial scale... The ability of microbes to produce electricity has been known for decades, but only recently have technological advances made their production of electricity high enough to be of commercial use." http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2012/aug/major-advance-made-generating-electricity-wastewater So, wastewater or even any type of organic waste material could generate now significant amounts of electricity in any country, instead of consuming it. Seems now fuel cells finally became truly useful and unstoppable (and this one is not at all for cars, but for large scale energy generation).
        goodoldgorr
        • 2 Years Ago
        Im interrested to buy
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ krisztiant Excellent post ! Amazing technology. Although not yet proven to be practical, this sort of R&D is very important if we are to develop alternative energy technologies suitable for an industrialized world. We live in interesting times......
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          @Marco "Although not yet proven to be practical, this sort of R&D is very important" But "the ability of microbes to produce electricity has been known [proven] for decades, but only recently have technological advances made their production of electricity high enough to be of commercial use..." And it is an actual real breakthrough. Think about it as e.g. a breakthrough in battery technology by which batteries can achieve 10 to 50 (or even 100) times more energy density. ABG simply would explode by the resulting thousands of comments (but because any kind of fuel cell is being the Resident Evil here, few people even care). As you also pointed out, it is definitely an amazing technology, since turning our literal s%#t :) into energy (as an energy source, which we produce anyway, thus we don't need a costly process to create it) instead of using fossil fuel to treat it, is simply amazing. And that can be said all the bio waste of the future, by turning them into valuable energy sources instead of letting them to impose an energy consuming burden on mankind. Yes, it is indeed amazing.
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      The University of Arizona did a study in 2004 and found that in the United States, about 14-15% of all food is wasted. Maybe we should take a look at our priorities? As for developing nations relying on imported corn from the US - these countries are being lured in by the cheap prices (which are heavily subsidized by the US government and rely on totally unsustainable agriculture practices) and this destroys local economies (Mexico and Haiti are excellent examples). Local farmers are being pushed off their farms by cheap imported grains and corn which in turn lead to a downtown in the countries economic growth and development. Agriculture is a messed up industry and it would be much more beneficial if it's reform was a election issues as opposed to just "do we stop ethanol"
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        There is a lot of subsidy and manipulation of things in agriculture. Our country is pretty bad at it. While we may accuse China of some shady practices, we also do the same kind of 'dumping' of our agricultural products. I've said it before and i'll say it again - we need a separation of government and business. Nobody is smarter about business than private enterprise.
          Ford Future
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Unregulated Business, in pursuit of profit, will Break the very Market it's using to get rich. Exxon will break the Farm Belt, to extract as much oil profit as it can. Koch coal is the funding behind the dirtiest fuel on earth: Canadian Tar Sand. Exxon fracking Pennsylvania, using 2 to 10 million gallons of water, and turning that into waste water, per fracking well, releasing mercury and uranium, and methane into the water supply. US Capitalism is Insane.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          You guys are all talking about the results of bad regulation. I never said don't regulate. I mean stop manipulating, subsidizing, tax breaking here, adding taxes there, in order to get some stated result - the track record when government tries to do these things is very bad. A government's job is to provide protection - therefore, we need regulation that prevents things like theft, corruption, destruction of land and environment. We do not have those protections. We had a government that allowed credit default swaps and subprime mortgages to go wild. We have a government that allowed robo-signing, a government that stood by for the decade that the current recession was building. We do not have smart regulation, we just have a congress and presidency full of what i call legally corrupt and self interested individuals. Good recent example is hiring monsanto's lawyer.. to keep track of monsanto.... oo... k... I want those people to have as little power as possible. With Enron, we had a company working around poorly written regulations. The Oklahoma dustbowl was a result of government encouraging poor agricultural practices in the worst of places, combined with poor farming practices. Fracking? gosh, look at what Bush signed into the clean water act during his term. The EPA is being used to protect the natural gas industry and not the people - doing exactly the opposite as it should. Oh man, i could go on forever. When you see a corporation destroying the environment, stealing from people, and declaring themselves additional rights and writing their own laws.. don't you forget, there are powerful people in office that are allowing it to happen. We need to flush those turds right down the drain..
          Ford Future
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Look at the Dark Market Greenspan allowed in CDO trading, 60 Trillion Dollars in size with no verification, or capital requirements, with leverage of 4 to 40 to 1. No one screws up bigger then Wall Street. 1000% worse then government.
          Rob J
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Yeah, just look at Enron. Private enterprise is (an im totally generalizing here) about making as much money as possible no matter ehat the environmental or social external costs may be.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          2WM We tried 100% free market agriculture has been tried in the US. It led to great results like the Oklahoma Dustbowl disaster. At a certain point, important things like food become issues where there is a National Interest. Keeping us out of cycles of feast and famine is a national interest, wouldn't you agree? Unfortunately businesses have a rather lousy record when it comes between choosing profit for themselves, and doing what is best for our national interests. How do you propose we enact critical National Interests without government?
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        I'm surprised it's that low. Anyway, in my area composting is all the rage now. Even McDonalds composts the food waste from their stores (they have labelled bins!). Anyway, two wrongs don't make a right. We shouldn't make a mistake on ethanol just because we make other mistakes too.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Why do I think there is a joke somewhere with McDonalds and composting....? :D
      • 2 Years Ago
      What about all the damage to our engines? This will be my second $500 marine carburetor repair in 24 months due to ethanol eating at the rubber parts and creating a gel that coats the interior lines causing the engine to not start.
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      The real problem with bio-fuels has always been the refusal of bio-fuel advocates to accept the fundamental problem of trying to economically produce fuel from agricultural crops. The Bio-fuel lobby always highlights only the positive aspects. Bio-fuel certainly has some positives, but for the vast majority of nations, (including the US) , large scale 'growing fuel' is not economically feasible. ( without heavy government subsidies, or regulations mandating the compulsory use of ethanol.) In addition, there will always be times when crops fail, that's the nature of agriculture ! It could be argued that the vast sums squandered on the US ethanol industry, actually retarded the development of more economically viable alternate fuels. The problem for the US government is Ethanol's huge vested interests and army of ferocious defenders, processing immense electoral power to keep the dream alive. In any rational comparison between developing Ethanol or Natural Gas as an energy resource , Natural gas is the obvious winner ! Natural Gas may also benefit from government incentives in it's early development/adoption phase, but unlike ethanol, it won't need to be propped up forever, nor require mandatory use regulations. . If just the light delivery, large vehicle, taxi fleets in the US switched to NG ( LPG, CNG, etc) the benefit to the environment would be greater than all the mandated Ethanol consumed. What keeps the US ethanol industry alive, is not environmental concern, but old fashioned self-interest by the Ethanol Industry and ideologically driven supporters. The Ethanol Industry is now so large, that it may be politically impossible for any US to allow to the industry to collapse.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Marco If you want to move vehicles in the United States using natural gas, there is only one industry that is currently using natural gas in large scale to drive significant miles. That is the Ethanol Industry. There are 4 major energy inputs into making ethanol. Here they are in order of how much energy they input: 1) Power from the Sun 2) Natural Gas 3) Diesel/gasoline 4) Electricity (which is around 25% powered by Natural Gas) For every unit of Natural Gas energy you put into producing Ethanol, you get 1.3 units of ethanol out of the process. This is then used TODAY to drive millions of miles on US roads every year in the fleet of cars we already have. Our entire current US fleet of gasoline and diesel cars cannot be economically converted to run on natural gas. On the other hand, our entire US fleet of gas cars CAN run 10-15% bio-fuels right now without any need for any vehicle conversions. Call me when natural gas burning vehicles actually manage to displace even .001% of our current gasoline/diesel consumption in the United States. Then we can talk about "allow[ing] the [Ethanol Industry] to collapse" as you say. Otherwise you are just killing the only industry that is successfully TODAY converting natural gas into liquid fuel that can be burned by our current fleet of gas cars. Are there better solutions than what we have today? Damn straight there are. EV's running on solar and wind are at the top of that list. Natural Gas burning cars are on the list somewhere too. But until future becomes reality, we need ALL hands on deck with every solution we have to continue to reduce our oil dependency. I'm sorry you have failed yet again on the math. Using natural gas to move cars is already happening on a large scale, and you are blind to it because of your knee-jerk hate of ethanol.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          @ PR, What strange logic ! Growing corn to produce automotive fuel is more efficient than NG fuels !? The US has just started to exploit it's vast quantities of NG, but many other nations with plentiful NG have been successfully selling automotive LPG (or CNG) for over 40 years. Unlike Ethanol, NG is not subject to drought, etc. Nor does NG require ongoing government subsidies ! Growing any crop, requires an inordinate amount of resources, including energy in the form of electricity, fossil fuel, fertilizer, transport etc. Corn is just not the right crop to grow if you are seeking to produce agri-fuel. The energy required to grow corn and process into ethanol is absurdly wasteful. Simply replacing gasoline and diesel in high mileage vehicles with CNG or LPG, (NG) would achieve the same, or superior, environmental goals, but without the huge cost of ethanol. No compulsory 'blending', No mandates, No taxpayer subsidy, just a straight economic choice for the consumer. Your last paragraph displays the confusion in your thinking. Having vehemently disparaged the use of NG as a fuel of any consequence, you then admit that NG vehicles are "happening on a large scale ! " Make up your mind ! The discovery of vast reserves of NG in North America, will make the US an energy giant once again. The US should move fast to secure the Canadian reserves before the PRC becomes even more competitive. The US corn based Ethanol industry is an economic disaster, only kept alive by political and ideological considerations. (and taxpayers money). It can't improve, and will require more and more onerous regulations to ensure sales of an inferior technology. The US corn based Ethanol industry is doomed, sooner or later, the subsidies will be removed along with the compulsory mandates, with no customers, the industry will collapse.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          Marco, When I said "Using natural gas to move cars is already happening on a large scale, and you are blind to it " can only be understood by READING MY FVKING POST!! IF you had an ounce of reading comprehension, you would understand that I was refering to this: "If you want to move vehicles in the United States using natural gas, there is only one industry that is currently using natural gas in large scale to drive significant miles. That is the Ethanol Industry." Read for comprehension. The way that natural gas is being used to move cars on a large scale is through the use of natural gas in the ethanol production chain. Thanks for being the loser on Jeopardy yet again.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          EZEE Marco will response with a fili- buster of bullsh!t that never recog- nizes the facts I've posted. It is a good that you have recon- sidered and decided to dump the- rapist. It is good to break of a relation- ship like that. My advice: avoid the- rapist when every possible.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          @ Ezee What exactly is so great about PR's response? The Ethanol industry is long established in the US. Despite billions upon billions of taxpayer money poured into this industry it still is uneconomic. The only way ethanol can be sold is by compulsion ! The US government makes you buy this failed product because it once seemed like something useful to do with a surplus of US corn, and won votes in the farm belt. In contrast, the US has suddenly discovered that the North America contains arguably the largest deposits of NG in the world. The Natural Gas industry has suddenly become America's energy savior. We know that for high mileage vehicles CNG, LPG, etc, are all widely used by other NG rich nations around the world for many years. The technology (and even vehicles) used by these nations is largely American. The costs, logistics, and economics of NG has been established for over 40 years. PR's weird juxtaposition of distorted catch phrases, have no basis in reality. The choice is simple. Continue with a totally unsuitable agricultural crop that needs mandates and subsidies,and will always be subject to crop failure. or Accept that NG, while it's still a fossil fuel, is an effective and economic method of powering high mileage vehicles. NG also reduces pollution more effectively than ethanol, while reducing US dependance on Oil imports (In fact NG could effectively remove the need for foreign oil) . Natural Gas will require no 'compulsion' , mandate, and no subsidies once established. In fact it will contribute enormously to the US economy. Now, why would you need a dictionary to understand such a simple contrast ?
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          Marco, Yes, mixing Power from the Sun with energy from natural gas, oil, and electricity absolutely makes ethanol a very efficient way of using natural gas to move cars. This is because when you use the natural gas to make ethanol you get to also add in the solar power collected by the plants. When you just take the natural gas and burn it directly in a gas engine, you are not able to harness any of that solar energy. I'm sorry this is all to hard for you to understand. I thought I made it all very clear by listing Energy from the Sun in my previous post.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          Marco Polo. Wrong on the facts. Again. And since he can't get the facts right, he relies upon his failed reading comprehension to misread my posts. First off, natural gas extraction certainly does use a ton of water, and the drought has ALREADY impacted natural gas extraction. "We all know drought drives up food prices, but did you know it can make energy more expensive, too? The lack of water is making fracking for natural gas costlier than usual this summer " http://revmodo.com/2012/08/08/drought-means-pricey-natural-gas/ CNN has reported that "Each shale well takes between two and 12 million gallons of water to frack. That's 18 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water per well." http://seekingalpha.com/article/772951-natural-gas-production-could-be-curtailed-by-drought And Natural gas extraction also competes with farming for water: "In the mid-west, Kansas farmers sell water to gas drillers, usually at $0.35 per barrel. Now they are turning down offers of $0.75 or more." NAtural gas is also subsidized up the backside through all kinds of tax treatments, some of which have left natural gas companies paying single digit taxes, or even being refunded. That's just the tip of your errors. But answer this direct question: Which reduces gasoline consumption currently in the US more: A) The entire US fleet of gas cars burning E10 that in part converts natural gas to turning wheels B) Natural gas cars currently on the road today. Just one intellectually honest response from you would be a miracle. (of course the answer is clear, with many orders of magnitude gap between the two answers. Let's see if you can answer a direct question for once honestly)
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          Now PR.... that was a great response...but the last paragraph....Marco is probably going to respond now with science, history, and make me pull put a dictionary, and although I dumped the blonde massage therapist today, the blonde still lingers and I don't feel like thinking.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        PR, There comes a point where attempting to reason with a person so hysterical, as to answer his own posts several times over, (because he's too excited to compose his thoughts the first time) and resort's to bad language and racial slurs,......well, it just becomes pointless ! You criticized Dan F, and demanded he was banned for exactly the same inappropriate behavior as you practice. ( Although, I suspect it was out of spite for his exposure of your totally unjustified and personally offensive, attack on the hapless CEO of Bright Automotive, who was brave enough to post on ABG. )
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          apologetically should be "unapologetically". Oh, and the reason I put down multiple posts was only because I was at a location with sketchy internet connection, and I wanted to submit my comments as I wrote them to avoid losing them. But nice dodge for completely evading absolutely all of the facts I laid down that decimated your posts. Like I said to EZEE. You will filibuster with bullsh1t when you cannot dispute the hard facts. Meanwhile, all of my facts have gone uncontested. I've guess when you need an excuse to run away when you are losing, you will always choose to blame your opponent for your failures. If you actually can contest my posts, do it! If you can't, don't blame me for your failure like you always do! Poor predictable Marco!
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Marco accused me of "racial slurs". Hardly. The term "Pommy" is a term coined by white folks in the Australian part of the British Commonwealth to describe their fellow white folks who literally share the exact same white ancestors and happen to live in the English part of the same British Commonwealth. White people using derogatory names for other white people who share the exact same ancestry is NOT racism. It is no different than Californians saying "damn Texans", and Texans saying "stupid Californians". People get really disgusted at people like you trying to score petty political points on the backs of the absolute horrors that people who have suffered from actual REAL racism (slavery, denial of the vote, denial of property ownership, interracial marriage bans, lynchings, hangings, etc). Your petty and childish attempt to attack me for "racial slurs" for something that clearly has zero racial connection is an insult to everyone who has ever suffered or died due to actual real racism. You need to understand that when you as a self-proclaimed while guy start throwing around false accusations of racism purely for the purpose of scoring points against someone you politically oppose, you are insulting everyone who has actually suffered at the hands of racists. You devalue their suffering. Your apology for your false allegation is expected forthright. And I will absolutely and apologetically continue attacking REAL racism, bigotry, and homophobia whenever it appears on this board, despite your attempts to attack me for it.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        "Natural Gas may also benefit from government incentives in it's early development/adoption phase, but unlike ethanol, it won't need to be propped up forever, nor require mandatory use regulations." It would be nice if that was the case. Right now, the natural gas industry absolutely has government in it's pocket. They are actively being shielded from environmental "externalities", which is why people such as myself are up in arms over how the industry is operating.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now congress should fund research on doing as Marcel says: change cellulose into ethanol or methanol.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can't you feed cows with grass? Isn't there any grass in this drought either?
      diffrunt
      • 2 Years Ago
      real gas costs me 10% more , I get 20% better mileage.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @diffrunt
        If you are getting 20% less mpg on E10, there is something wrong with your car, not with E10. Take your car back to the dealership and have them fix the problem. It is covered under the emissions warranty, which is much longer than your bumper-to-bumper warranty.
      Allch Chcar
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just a comment regarding "U.S. fuel companies are supposed to convert about 40 percent of the corn crop into biofuel to meet the federal standards." The actual number is closer to 28 percent or so. Ethanol only uses the starch content so up to 1/3 of the corn (by mass) returns to the feed market as Dried distiller's grain. Something even the USDA has failed to note in their numbers. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/08/column-wynn-ethanol-corn-idUSL6E8J65JU20120808
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Allch Chcar
        When calculated by energy content instead of by mass, it is even higher, at around 70% of the calories in the corn being returned to the food cycle as cattle feed. And energy content is what really matters, not how much space or weight that energy displaces. The higher energy density of distiller's grain allows ranchers to transport and feed less mass for the same amount of calories as straight feed corn. Using the number that matters, the roughly 70% by energy, only around 10-15% of the US corn crop is actually taken out of the food chain to make ethanol.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          I don't mind getting voted down, but your post seemed reasonable. If it is wrong (hence the downvote, I assume) it would be nice for someone to say why. You didn't even offer an opinion...
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