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Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 01:40 PM   #1
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Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

My BIL was visiting and tells me they're going to build an ethanol plant in cornland where he lives.

The local farmers are very excited because the price of corn is rising as we speak. However, in order to meet the demand for their corn, they would have to abandon conservation measures that have been in place for many years.

Sounds like "Dust Bowl, Part 2" in 20 years........... :P No more soybeans, we need all the cropland for corn. I guess the soil doesn't need nitrogen anyway........ : :
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 01:43 PM   #2
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

Write your congressman and tell them to nix that ethanol subsidy. Problem solved.

Cropland prices are going through the roof. It's insane.
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 02:02 PM   #3
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

Yeah, The Economist had an article about it. Corn prices go up, there's less feed for cows so beef goes up, there's less soy so soy prices rise, etc., and all so we can make ethanol that's probably not fuel efficient anyway. Sugar, the article suggested, is the way to go. And Castro has a lot of sugar.
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 02:03 PM   #4
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

Quote:
Originally Posted by bow-tie
Write your congressman and tell them to nix that ethanol subsidy. Problem solved.

Cropland prices are going through the roof. It's insane.
Plus, the stuff I am finding says ethanol pollutes MORE than what we are currently doing............. :P :P :P

What about fuel cells, hydrogen, etc? Don't we have enough hydrogen to work with??
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 02:23 PM   #5
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

Living in the cornbelt, you have to careful about logically questioning ethanol, with the risk of being labeled a heretic. The science behind ethanol sure makes it look like a net user of energy, unless the stuff I'm reading in biased against. I read making ethanol requires a boatload of water... and they are building all of these processing plants in places like Nebraska, who already have water issues. WTF?

But you know money talks... and I guess in this case, special interest money talks. Hmmmm.... I wonder if ADM has anyone in Washington blowing sunshine about the potential of ethanol??
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 02:33 PM   #6
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

Quote:
Originally Posted by bow-tie
Living in the cornbelt, you have to careful about logically questioning ethanol, with the risk of being labeled a heretic. The science behind ethanol sure makes it look like a net user of energy, unless the stuff I'm reading in biased against. I read making ethanol requires a boatload of water... and they are building all of these processing plants in places like Nebraska, who already have water issues. WTF?

But you know money talks... and I guess in this case, special interest money talks. Hmmmm.... I wonder if ADM has anyone in Washington blowing sunshine about the potential of ethanol??
My sister's best friend is in the food industry. She says an ethanol plant takes a boatload of water, and you need a bunch of energy for the conversion process (she was saying natural gas), how does that work? Seems like a 40 year old "cracking plant" would be more efficient............... :P :P

In Nebraska, ADM owns about half the state............
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 02:39 PM   #7
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

Corn-based ethanol makes no sense as a source of power. As an oxygenate additive for gasoline, maybe, but not as a fuel source. But the agg states had votes that needed to be bought, so that's the way it goes for now.
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 02:44 PM   #8
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

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Corn-based ethanol makes no sense as a source of power. As an oxygenate additive for gasoline, maybe, but not as a fuel source. But the agg states had votes that needed to be bought, so that's the way it goes for now.
So when the price of eggs, chicken, beef, and soy products doubles, who ya gonna call?
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 02:46 PM   #9
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

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So when the price of eggs, chicken, beef, and soy products doubles, who ya gonna call?
They will piss and moan to washington, who will do something foolish about it (again). What else is new?
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 02:56 PM   #10
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

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They will piss and moan to washington, who will do something foolish about it (again). What else is new?
I had a dream the entire Congress was under the age of 55, and then I woke up...................

I wonder how many Senators are senile.............to me the number is astronomically high............

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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 03:00 PM   #11
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

Its (probably) not mass senility or stupidity. They are just responding to the incentives that their "market" offers. Unfortunately for the rest of us.
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 03:08 PM   #12
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

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Its (probably) not mass senility or stupidity. They are just responding to the incentives that their "market" offers. Unfortunately for the rest of us.
So it's all about "pork barrel projects" and the like? Or, in other words, you scatch my back, I'll scratch yours?
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 03:16 PM   #13
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

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So it's all about "pork barrel projects" and the like? Or, in other words, you scatch my back, I'll scratch yours?
You have a better explanation that fits the available facts? Politicians are like the rest of us: they respond to the incentives their environment offers them.
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 03:20 PM   #14
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

It's merely a guess, but methinks it's the convergence of the push for "energy-independence" and effectively lobbying... ethanol is marketed to meet the former, and coincidently, also meets the latter. Kills two birds with one stone. Who says Washington can't be efficient?!?
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 04:37 PM   #15
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

We need a breakthrough that will work so well, and be such a no-brainer, that even the government can't screw it up.

To illustrate, let's say that tomorrow someone developed a battery that was a 100-fold improvement over current batteries. Or a new process for cellulosic ethanol development that was cheap and efficient and ready next week. Not saying those are going to happen, bit with these not-quite-practical solutions around confusing the politicians like shiny objects, we're sunk.
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 05:19 PM   #16
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

We had a good series of posts on a related subject recently.
"Hydrogen Hoax and Real Alternative Fuel for Cars"
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...topic=12225.75

Hydrogen is obviously not an energy source, it is, at best, an energy transfer medium that might be useful in some niche applications (e.g. running a forklift indoors, where air quality at the site of operation is key).

Methanol makes a lot more sense--it can be produced without new processes from wood and a bunch of crop waste products, it is a liquid fuel that is compatible with our present liquid fuel infrastructure, and it doesn't pose the technical problems of hydrogen. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a huge lobbying contingent as ethanol does.
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 06:11 PM   #17
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

I don't like this idea... Its Unamerican... it's going to increase burbon prices... not to mention beer.
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 06:40 PM   #18
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco
I don't like this idea... Its Unamerican... it's going to increase burbon prices... not to mention beer.
On a home brewing forum, a barley farmer said that barley is planted in places that are not really suitable for corn. So, beer prices should be safe. Since corn and barley do compete as a feed, there is probably some effect on prices though.

However, some back-of-the-envelope calculations and a bit of googling show that Malt Quality Barley is going for about $4.30 a bushel. 48# of barley per bushel = $0.09/#. Ten pounds of malt for 5 gallons of beer is common for many home-brew recipes. Five gallons is about 8 six-packs. So about 12 cents of the raw barley product total per six-pack. The cost is in processing and taxes, etc.

-ERD50

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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 06:52 PM   #19
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

Isn't the barley used for brewing and distilling different from that used for food? The former being a two-row variety, the latter six-row, or something like that? Though I don't know what they use for feed.
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............
Old 04-23-2007, 09:16 PM   #20
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Re: Ethanol and the lack of Logic............

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpp
Isn't the barley used for brewing and distilling different from that used for food? The former being a two-row variety, the latter six-row, or something like that? Though I don't know what they use for feed.
Both 2-row and 6-row are used in brewing. They have slightly different characteristics. Looks like feed is generally 6-row.

from wiki:
Quote:

Two-row barley is the oldest form, wild barley having two rows as well. Two-row barley has a lower protein content than six-row barley and thus a lower enzyme content. High protein barley is best suited for animal feed or malt that will be used to make beers with a large adjunct content. Two-row barley is traditionally used in English ale style beers. Six-row barley is common in some American lager style beers, whereas two-row malted summer barley is preferred for traditional German beers. Four-row is unsuitable for brewing.
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