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Don’t Bet on Corn for Energy Independence

May 22nd, 2007 | 1 Comment | Posted in Algae-Ethanol

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Don’t Bet on Corn for Energy Independence

May 09, 2007

This interesting article from Concord Monitor says why the world should say no to corn-based ethanol, and should instead look at ethanol from feedstock such as switchgrass, algae and cellulose.

Listen to some of the very-credible arguments.

One-fifth of America’s corn crop is now fed not to people or livestock but to the ethanol factories springing up all over the Midwest.

Corn production is at a 63-year high, but prices keep rising. That’s driving up the cost of meat, poultry and most other supermarket items. But those are the little problems with corn-based ethanol…there are much bigger problems.

America’s bumper corn crop has been a big factor in feeding the world’s poor. So have American surpluses in wheat and other grains. More corn for ethanol means more expensive grain for the poor, and is causing many other economic turbulences around the world.

Corn requires lots of nitrogen-heavy fertilizer. Corn needs a lot of water. So do the plants that turn it into ethanol – a half-million gallons per day or more. The water table is dropping in some ethanol-producing regions, and erosion and fertilizer runoff are increasing…

If every bit of corn now grown in the United States were converted to ethanol, it would meet only 12 percent of the nation’s fuel needs for transportation alone…

Conclusion? Ethanol will have to be made not from crops like corn, or even soybeans or sugar cane, which reduce C02 emissions even more compared to oil. To be an alternative, ethanol will have to come from waste wood, weeds like switch-grass or perhaps even pond algae.

You would agree with the conclusion, wouldn’t you?

Read the full article from here @ Concord Monitor

Nature gave us oil from algae; perhaps we should try Nature’s way again

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One Response to “Don’t Bet on Corn for Energy Independence”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, I think the oil biodiesel discussion was good. But I was suprised at the angry and inflammatory content in the add-on comment, offering no substance and allowed to appear. Who monitor's this site?

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