White Lightning Axiom: Redux: Ethanol

Wednesday, August 04, 2004



Crap, there goes my ethanol gripe. I guess it's back to pig-shit methane.
Even worse, a tremendous percentage of "alternate energy" schemes are either political boondoggles or simply ill-conceived. Just one example, ethanol. Heavily subsidised. Warm fuzzy alternative to oil for the Lefties -- kick the towel-heads in the balls for the Farm Bureau types.

There's only one problem. Growing, harvesting, transporting, fermenting and refining corn into a US gallon of ethanol requires 130,000 btu of energy. The resulting gallon contains only 76,000 btu. Now there's a plan for energy independence.

Pulling oil out of Alberta's Tar Sands is decried as inefficient--it takes about 97 barrels of energy to extract 100 barrels of oil--but an efficiency of +3% beats the snot out of ethanol's -71% efficiency.


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