Thursday, October 29, 2009

Subsidizing Corn‐Based Ethanol

It is clear that scientists think the corn based ethanol is a very unfortunate policy because first, it offers a small amount of net energy after we consider the amount of the energy for production. As a fact, more energy we loss to make ethanol from grain than the combustion of ethanol produces. Second, using corn for fuel will raise food costs in the community. Third, ethanol has a negative balance power. “Ethanol from corn and wood biomass requires 29%, 50%, and 57% more energy” to create the ethanol than the energy restricted within the fuel. “Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion to ethanol, 131,000 Btu are needed to make one gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 Btu”

Unfortunately federal and state are disagreed and claimed that in Brazil people productively use sugar cane based ethanol. But the fact is sugar cane ethanol is more efficient -produces more net energy- and it made of waste left over after the extraction of sugar and also would not affect the food prices in society. The whole discussion about corn based ethanol brings two questions in the public minds. How federal and state public policies are -regarding to the issue- connected to the farming sector? And then how farmers assisted state and federal election campaigns to gain this?

Since the ethanol production requires a big quantity of energy and the majority energy in the country is created from coal the small reduction in CO2 and other polluting emissions from burning ethanol versus gasoline will be more than standard by the power needed to produce the ethanol. Also “ethanol produced has a small energy yield per hectare”. Therefore, it needs a large quantity of land to produce a significant amount of ethanol. Consider that the “20% of the whole corn crop was used to create ethanol, and it offset only 1% of US oil use” in 2008.

The majority of economic studies show that the manufacture of the corn to ethanol- if we believe the costs of environmental- it will damages our environment more than we can visualize. For example, soiling in the corn farming is a very difficult work to achieve. It is involved with “nitrogen fertilizer and petroleum-based pesticides”. Another consideration for ethanol is necessitating the farm to water. Water is limited in the country specially places close to the corn farm. As we mentioned before since corn can count as a food, ethanol production is increasing food prices like meat, milk, eggs and other grocery product because is about “70 percent of corn grain is fed to livestock and poultry in the United States”. For sure this change will attack the economy in the Unites States other parts of the world. Finally, although we want to be optimistic and wish that the all transportation services in the United States get the service with hundred percent of ethanol in the reality we will need to grow the corn feedstock all over on our land area and corn will cover nearly the total places in the United States.

But it is a big difference between the algae and corn based ethanol. For example since the country require the enormous oil needs the algae farms would take only about 15,000 square miles to produce sufficient biodiesel to meet our transportation requirements and it is possible in actuality. In fact each algae farm can be just 120 miles by 120 miles with less than 50 algae farms with only 300 square miles each to get the goal reach. Also algae is more economical and renewable as well as it will not going to displace food crop. In addition, algae are truly easier to handle than other resources since it does not require the level of filtering or titrating. In conclusion it is a desire that users learn how to make algae bio diesel for themselves at home or other places. Then they can to be more responsible for their own energy requirements and stop waiting for big energy corporations to deliver energy to them.

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