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Consequently, the ethanol industry
generated a surplus of $1.2 billion for the Federal treasury.
So... um... where did that $1.2 billion end up?

[Read: Who's pocket was lined the most heavily by it?]
 

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What I don't get why is everyone pushing corn based ethanol. It's one of the most inefficient to produce! And then they complain about profitability. I was visiting UK last year and every empty spot they have had rape grass growing. Not only it's less finicky to grow, it's cheaper to collect and process and produces much more ethanol per weight. It also does not destroy fertile sole as much as cord does.
Corn based ethanol succeeded only in raising food prices everywhere.

Alex...
 

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Are you sure that they are making ethanol from rape grass? Biodiesel would be my guess, rape grass is an oil plant and diesel powered cars are very common there.

Any vegetabel oil is a good base for biodiesel fuel, even waste oil from restaurants. Process is quite simple and small processing plant can be installed at farm site. Or if your kids want to try it at home, it's possible in your kitchen too.
 

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Are you sure that they are making ethanol from rape grass? Biodiesel would be my guess, rape grass is an oil plant and diesel powered cars are very common there.

Any vegetabel oil is a good base for biodiesel fuel, even waste oil from restaurants. Process is quite simple and small processing plant can be installed at farm site. Or if your kids want to try it at home, it's possible in your kitchen too.
Correct. Biodiesel is getting more popular over here.
 

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Are you sure that they are making ethanol from rape grass? Biodiesel would be my guess, rape grass is an oil plant and diesel powered cars are very common there.

Any vegetabel oil is a good base for biodiesel fuel, even waste oil from restaurants. Process is quite simple and small processing plant can be installed at farm site. Or if your kids want to try it at home, it's possible in your kitchen too.
Yes, in UK they mostly use it for biodiesel but it's just a matter of processing to produce either one. In either case it's much better ROI than corn.

Alex...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What I don't get why is everyone pushing corn based ethanol. It's one of the most inefficient to produce! And then they complain about profitability. I was visiting UK last year and every empty spot they have had rape grass growing. Not only it's less finicky to grow, it's cheaper to collect and process and produces much more ethanol per weight. It also does not destroy fertile sole as much as cord does.
Corn based ethanol succeeded only in raising food prices everywhere.

Alex...
Corn is cheap, plentiful, and yields greatly. It is not inefficient to produce in any way, shape or form!

Yields are better out of biomass, but the infastructure is not there.
 

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Corn is cheap, plentiful, and yields greatly. It is not inefficient to produce in any way, shape or form!

Yields are better out of biomass, but the infrastructure is not there.
Let me fix that for you, Corn WAS cheap.
LOL.

It takes too long to grow compared to crass, it's use for Ethanol production only benefits the growers because it raises food prices across the board as a lot of food products use corn. Not good for general population. It is only cost efficient to produce Ethanol from corn when gas prices are around $4/gal. Biomass is way cheaper. Corn cannot be grown in the same spot for more than a couple of year, then you have to let the land rest or yields drop greatly. Grass does not need that.
Infrastructure is not as good for biomass production because of lobbying by corn producers. Again, understandable, if I was growing corn, I'd be looking for ways to make more money on it too.

Alex...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Corn is below break even right now..........Food companies over charge regardless of the price of corn......as proven this year.
 

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Corn is below break even right now..........Food companies over charge regardless of the price of corn......as proven this year.
I don't buy it. Food companies always overcharged but now they also have to pay a lot more for corn and just pass it on to consumers. Corn industry is as bad as oil industry in some aspects. Oil industries get intensives to drill and build infrastructure, corn industry gets taxpayer money to produce more corn that would otherwise be used for food but thanks to heavy lobbying is written in some laws as the only source for ethanol.
Prices for corn were too cheap to be competitive with South American corn when it was mainly used for food. As a result government had to pay subsidies to keep corn growers from going under. (I'm thinking that may be they should grow something else?)
Then ethanol came on to the scene amid high oil prices and Al Gore showing his science fiction movie around the world and somebody had a brilliant idea:
Let's change the concept of subsidies to an "investment in green future".
So corn industry scraped up what last money they had and invested it in political lobbying. We all know that politicians are for sale and now we have laws that funnel billions of tax dollars into corn industry for ethanol production and requirements that some power production must be made from corn based ethanol. "To reduce the carbon footprint". Anyone who didn't sleep during the science class can figure out that corn based ethanol produced with current technologies does not reduce carbon footprint and in some cases actually increase it.
Now I dig corn when it's grilled and I dig ethanol and methanol as fuel because of their high octane rating and cleaner burning which allows me to make more power from my race engines and have the engine parts be cleaner from carbon deposits as compared to gasoline but I don't have any illusions that using corn based ethanol is making me greener.

Alex...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't know that I buy into the "greener" fuel. I am more of an energy independance type. Since our gov't is against drilling our own oil, this is a way to use less oil from those who hate us.
 

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I have a bit of background in the grain industry and I do drive an E85 FFV car. Right now corn is $3.49/bu locally (western Ohio) and its running 28% moisture, which no elevator or ethanol plant, and there are five plants around me, two now bankrupt and closed (Lima and Bloomingburg, Ohio) will accept without a drying penalty. That penalty charge to the farmer is running $.70 per bu today. There is a large mold problem this year and that impacts the starch in the kernel. About 15% of the corn kernel is actually used in the production of sugars that create pure ethanol. The balance of the kernel goes to DDG. As a cattle and hog feed, around here, farmers are starting to see some negative results with finishing those animals on DDG. Many I know around here are going back to higher ratios of ground corn. Shhhh - don't tell the ethanol plants that!
If the Obama Administration drops the $.50/gallon E85 tax credit, cheap E85, which is selling at about $.30 less per gallon than regular gas around here, it goes away and suddenly if my calculations are correct, E85 could be as much as $.20 per gallon higher than regular gas. How long do you think the artifical basis for the production of E85 will continue considering it would be higher than regular with a resulting drop in gas mileage? Not long, I can assure you! Personally, I think corn is the wrong raw stock to use in the distilling of Ethanol. But corn has been so highly modified (GMO) that I hardly recognize it as a food crop anymore.
What I find a bit concerning is most farmers around here are NOT using what they grow. Few have Flex-fuel vehicles and very few use bio-diesel. Is there anything wrong with that picture? Only one elevator in this entire region even sells E85 at its fuel pumps and what example does that set? I noted when I was in Illinois. Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota on the wheat harvest last year that E85 was quite hard to find. I wonder just why in the grain belt states and the many elevators who sell commerical fuels are not selling E85? I drove across South Dakota twice in SR 14 and only was able to find it at one station in Pierre. In my opinion it reflects that the farmers don't have faith in the E85 fuel.
 

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NKP779, I too grew up in agriculture, (family owned and operated a grain elevator/agri chem service in Nebraska) and I agree with your statements about the feasability and availability of E85. However, my father does religiously use bio-diesel in his truck. Corn is the wrong choice of feedstock, it takes too much energy to get energy. Here is an interesting alternative that I am curious why we don't see more of:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel

Oh, and the GMO factor, because of that there is what, 5000 different variaties now?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have a bit of background in the grain industry and I do drive an E85 FFV car. Right now corn is $3.49/bu locally (western Ohio) and its running 28% moisture, which no elevator or ethanol plant, and there are five plants around me, two now bankrupt and closed (Lima and Bloomingburg, Ohio) will accept without a drying penalty. That penalty charge to the farmer is running $.70 per bu today. There is a large mold problem this year and that impacts the starch in the kernel. About 15% of the corn kernel is actually used in the production of sugars that create pure ethanol. The balance of the kernel goes to DDG. As a cattle and hog feed, around here, farmers are starting to see some negative results with finishing those animals on DDG. Many I know around here are going back to higher ratios of ground corn. Shhhh - don't tell the ethanol plants that!
If the Obama Administration drops the $.50/gallon E85 tax credit, cheap E85, which is selling at about $.30 less per gallon than regular gas around here, it goes away and suddenly if my calculations are correct, E85 could be as much as $.20 per gallon higher than regular gas. How long do you think the artifical basis for the production of E85 will continue considering it would be higher than regular with a resulting drop in gas mileage? Not long, I can assure you! Personally, I think corn is the wrong raw stock to use in the distilling of Ethanol. But corn has been so highly modified (GMO) that I hardly recognize it as a food crop anymore.
What I find a bit concerning is most farmers around here are NOT using what they grow. Few have Flex-fuel vehicles and very few use bio-diesel. Is there anything wrong with that picture? Only one elevator in this entire region even sells E85 at its fuel pumps and what example does that set? I noted when I was in Illinois. Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota on the wheat harvest last year that E85 was quite hard to find. I wonder just why in the grain belt states and the many elevators who sell commerical fuels are not selling E85? I drove across South Dakota twice in SR 14 and only was able to find it at one station in Pierre. In my opinion it reflects that the farmers don't have faith in the E85 fuel.

You can't throw a dead cat around here without finding an E85 pump! I live in Central Iowa, and there are 4 within 10 miles of me! I can drive my truck exclusively on E85 with little difficulty and I know of many farmers who do as well. I drove to Canada from here almost exclusively on E85 4 years ago!

One of the problems with farmers and FFV, is they don't make a truck big enough that runs on E85. The new Diesel trucks are not that great, so they don't use biodiesel in them. Our Coops only sell Biodiesel.

Our ethanol plants are taking 17% corn with no discount, and blending in moldy corn with good corn.

As for the shortage of stations in Ag areas, the goverment is one of the problems. There are areas demanding the fuels, but the permitting and additional costs are not allowing it to happen.

The tax credit you are talking about is a tariff on imported Ethanol from Brazil. I would argue that removing that barrier would flood the market with cheap ethanol, making it much more competitive than it is now.
 
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