Catch 22. Alternative Fuel = Gasoline + Ethanol - $$$$$. Go EVs.

Catch 22. Alternative Fuel = Gasoline + Ethanol - $$$$$. Go EVs.

Aren’t we glad we are early adapting to EV-BEV technology- sooner than later?

You won’t believe this. I read “Keep Your Corn,” in Forbes April 23,2012 issue (page 36). Unbelievable. In 2005 our government decided, a quick and easy way to decrease our foreign oil dependency was to mix gasoline with ethanol. The 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard Law requires gasoline refiners to blend a mandated amount of plant based or renewable ethanol into the gas supply

Despite $1.5 Billion in Federal grants and loans to new cellulosic producers, most have gone bankrupt. The ethanol producers will consume a third of the U.S. corn crop and the price of corn has tripled. Gasoline refiners are fined by the government for failing to blend into their mix the mandated quantities of fuel - that does not exist. It is debatable if growing, tending, harvesting, and processing corn into ethanol emits less carbon dioxide than gasoline.

The Catch 22? Using coal and natural gas may be cheaper than using corn, wood chips, stalks, and swithgrass. But then again, that would be illegal. Go figure. Also, I have always been of the opinion using a food crop for energy production is a recipe for disaster.

Timo | 15 april 2012

It is debatable if growing, tending, harvesting, and processing corn into ethanol emits less carbon dioxide than gasoline.

Who cares about little bit of CO2 when increased need of farmland destroys biodiversity and CO2 eating forests at the area that is needed to produce that corn.

It isn't the nature that gets hurt by increased CO2, it is us humans, and we can adapt. Runaway greenhouse-effect like in Venus cannot happen here at Earth, we are too far away from the Sun (in fact without greenhouse-effect ambient temperature average would be below freezing everywhere. We would have permanent ice age).

Brian H | 16 april 2012

And Venus is not "runaway Greenhouse". That was a bad guess by Sagan et al. way back when. Venus' surface temp would be the same at that pressure (~98 bar) whether the atmosphere was pure N2, CO2, or any other mix. But lots of people keep repeating the meme, 'cause it sounds nice and scary.

Brian H | 16 april 2012

P.S. No one has identified any way in which any amount of CO2 below several 10s of thousands of ppm hurts humans or anything else. Just some computer models that exclude virtually all other variables. The technical term for it is Omitted Variable Fraud. The remaining variables get all the 'action' by default in the processing runs.

If the current cooling global and solar trends hold out, we'll wish that CO2 could keep us warm. But its effects are negligible at pressures and temperatures less than those of a combustion vessel.

brianman | 17 april 2012

chuckle @ "recipe" in the OP

Brian H | 17 april 2012

The effects on world food prices have been severe. Even Gore admitted that pushing ethanol was a "mistake". Brazil gets away with it because the sugar cane crops are abundant and much cheaper to process than corn, but even it is backing off on ethanol mandates somewhat.

jbunn | 17 april 2012

Seems like a waste of what could be a good bourbon, just to drive around...