White Lightning Axiom: Redux: Soybeans and Ethanol

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Soybeans and Ethanol

This fellow is pretty down on the use of ethanol as a fuel. For the most part, his assertions are correct. It takes more fossil energy to turn biomass into ethanol than the amount of fuel the process produces.
  • Corn                 29% more

  • Switch Grass  45% more

  • Wood               57% more

  • Soy Beans       27% more

  • Then there is the subsidies on top of that which boosts the cost even more. What is not mentioned here is what we can do with plain old sugar beets or cane. If we lifted or eased the restrictions created by the Sugar Program for ethanol production only, I believe that some opponents may change their tune. I've read (unsubstantiated) rumors that the Brazilians have managed to produce 300% more energy in ethanol than energy it requires to create.


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