Monday, May 08, 2006
Flexfuels - Ethanol from Corn - The Other Side
Go here if you'd like to see a well reasoned article on why ethanol from corn is not efficient as a way to fuel automobiles. Numerous other articles are now popping up on this subject. I plan to dig in a bit deeper before reporting back, but here are the major subjects to consider:
1. Amount and cost of fuel to grow and harvest the corn
2. Soil erosion.
3. Corns effect on underlying water table
4. Cost to create ethanol from corn
5. Water use to create ethanol from corn
6. Transportation of corn to ethanol plant
7. Transportation of ethanol to market
8. Increased cost of corn or other agricultural products as corn for ethanol competes for available land, etc.
So, there you have it. Fair and balanced. Other approaches to ethanol such as switch grass or biomass seem to be better long range solutions, if ethanol is going to be one of the winners of the fuel derby. Of course, breakthroughs in methods could substantially reduce the energy needed and costs to produce ethanol from corn.
Lots to consider.