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Ethanol Subsidies EndingFollow

#1 Jan 03 2012 at 2:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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The US will no longer be paying energy companies money for purchasing ethanol made from corn grains.

USA Today wrote:
It's because Congress declined to renew the 30-year-old federal subsidy for ethanol, letting it expire Sunday.

Ethanol, denatured grain alcohol used as a proven smog-cutting ingredient, currently makes up 10% of most gasoline-based motor fuel for general use, so-called E-10. In a few areas, E-85 fuel, 85% ethanol, also is available. E-85 can be burned only by vehicles equipped for "flex fuel."
How much the end of the subsidy could add to gas prices, and how soon, is yet to be seen. Ethanol blenders got a 45-cents-a-gallon tax credit, which amounts to 4.5 cents for the amount blended into each gallon of E-10 fuel.
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#2 Jan 03 2012 at 2:50 PM Rating: Good
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What is this gonna mean for Monsanto/Big Corn?
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#3 Jan 03 2012 at 2:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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Republicans raised my gas prices!

Debalic wrote:
What is this gonna mean for Monsanto/Big Corn?

Heh.. there was a news story last night on... ummm... one of those 20/20 type news shows about how land prices in Iowa were skyrocketing due to farming being so profitable, driven largely by ethanol.

Edited, Jan 3rd 2012 2:54pm by Jophiel
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#4 Jan 03 2012 at 2:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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This makes way for Okra based ethanol research.
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#5 Jan 03 2012 at 2:55 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Republicans raised my gas prices!

Debalic wrote:
What is this gonna mean for Monsanto/Big Corn?

Heh.. there was a news story last night on... ummm... one of those 20/20 type news shows about how land prices in Iowa were skyrocketing due to farming being so profitable, driven largely by ethanol.

Great, now we have *another* bubble that's about to pop.
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#6 Jan 03 2012 at 5:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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paying people to burn corn while kids starve... is somewhat problematic, I think
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#7 Jan 03 2012 at 5:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Olorinus wrote:
paying people to burn corn while kids cats starve... is somewhat problematic, I think

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#8 Jan 03 2012 at 5:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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kids are cheaper to feed.
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#9 Jan 03 2012 at 6:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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Olorinus wrote:
kids are cheaper to feed to cats.
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#10 Jan 03 2012 at 7:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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Corn feed the kids, then poof! cat food. Sounds like the cycle of life to me.

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#11 Jan 03 2012 at 8:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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Before some disagreeable **** jumps in about energy efficiency, they might first want to take a look at this study from 2002.

Just goes to show you that people who eat organic foods hate clean air. Smiley: nod
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#12 Jan 03 2012 at 8:38 PM Rating: Good
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Demea wrote:


Just goes to show you that people who eat organic foods hate clean air. Smiley: nod


Could you pull out the quote that says that? I'm feeling too lazy to skim an info dump atm.

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#13 Jan 03 2012 at 9:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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Some "experts" wrote:
Studies conducted since the late 1970s have estimated the net energy value (NEV) of corn ethanol. However, variations in data and assumptions used among the studies have resulted in a wide range of estimates. This study identifies the factors causing this wide variation and develops a more consistent estimate. We conclude that the NEV of corn ethanol has been rising over time due to technological advances in ethanol conversion and increased efficiency in farm production. We show that corn ethanol is energy efficient as indicated by an energy output:input ratio of 1.34.


They actually put the abstract right on top just for lazy people like you. In other words, you get more energy out of burning corn ethanol than it takes (from us) to produce ethanol. The difference being made up by biological processes, namely photosynthesis.

Edited, Jan 3rd 2012 9:23pm by Jophiel
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#14 Jan 04 2012 at 4:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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I still don't see the "people who eat organic food hate clean air" argument there...

Also I would suggest the science is not very confident in corn ethanol being more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels - especially given the carbon intensity of mass farming. The below paper suggests corn ethanol is actually worse for the environment and human health than gasoline

Quote:
Environmental impacts of energy use can impose large costs on society. We quantify and monetize the life-cycle climate-change and health effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions from gasoline, corn ethanol, and cellulosic ethanol. For each billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of fuel produced and combusted in the US, the combined climate-change and health costs are $469 million for gasoline, $472–952 million for corn ethanol depending on biorefinery heat source (natural gas, corn stover, or coal) and technology, but only $123–208 million for cellulosic ethanol depending on feedstock (prairie biomass, Miscanthus, corn stover, or switchgrass). Moreover, a geographically explicit life-cycle analysis that tracks PM2.5 emissions and exposure relative to U.S. population shows regional shifts in health costs dependent on fuel production systems. Because cellulosic ethanol can offer health benefits from PM2.5 reduction that are of comparable importance to its climate-change benefits from GHG reduction, a shift from gasoline to cellulosic ethanol has greater advantages than previously recognized. These advantages are critically dependent on the source of land used to produce biomass for biofuels, on the magnitude of any indirect land use that may result, and on other as yet unmeasured environmental impacts of biofuels.


SOURCE

Even if it is possible to get VERY SLIGHTLY more energy out of corn than the amount of energy in the gasoline used to produce the corn - it doesn't solve the problem of how to get the energy from the corn without gasoline to run a modern, energy intensive farm.

In short the model is flawed and unsustainable.

Edited, Jan 4th 2012 2:39pm by Olorinus
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#15 Jan 04 2012 at 6:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Olorinus wrote:
Even if it is possible to get VERY SLIGHTLY more energy out of corn than the amount of energy in the gasoline used to produce the corn - it doesn't solve the problem of how to get the energy from the corn without gasoline to run a modern, energy intensive farm.

In short the model is flawed and unsustainable.

Green energy, duh! Like solar, wind, cow manure and farts...
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#16 Jan 04 2012 at 6:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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(1) I would suggest that Twiz was being facetious in his comment.
(2) A non-insignificant goal of ethanol is energy independence which is separate from the clean energy argument
(3) An "energy output:input ratio of 1.34" means you're getting 134 units out for 100 units in (134/100 = 1.34). That's a 34% increase which I think goes well above the bar of "VERY SLIGHTLY".
(4) Regardless, I have no issue with the subsidies going away for various reasons.

Edit for affirmation by the study:
Quote:
Corn ethanol is energy efficient, as indicated by an energy ratio of 1.34; that is, for every Btu dedicated to producing ethanol there is a 34- percent energy gain. Furthermore, producing ethanol from domestic corn stocks achieves a net gain in a more desirable form of energy, which helps the United States to reduce its dependence on imported oil.
Ethanol production utilizes abundant domestic energy feedstocks, such as coal and natural gas, to convert corn into a premium liquid fuel. Only about 17 percent of the energy used to produce ethanol comes from liquid fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuel. For every 1 Btu of liquid fuel used to produce ethanol, there is a 6.34 Btu gain.

My real question from all this is... why are we still using the antiquated and socialist British Thermal Unit? I propose an American Thermal Unit which will be determined by the heat produced from an M-16 muzzle flash.

Edited, Jan 4th 2012 6:30pm by Jophiel
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#17 Jan 04 2012 at 6:23 PM Rating: Decent
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Is this thread about how gas prices are on average higher now than they were 3 years ago? (When we supposedly had a shortage or something)
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#18 Jan 04 2012 at 8:58 PM Rating: Good
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Debalic wrote:
Olorinus wrote:
Even if it is possible to get VERY SLIGHTLY more energy out of corn than the amount of energy in the gasoline used to produce the corn - it doesn't solve the problem of how to get the energy from the corn without gasoline to run a modern, energy intensive farm.

In short the model is flawed and unsustainable.

Green energy, duh! Like solar, wind, cow manure and farts...


Living (as I do) in a place where 90+ per cent of the electricity supply is renewable
When people think about the generation of electricity, they often think about dams. But although 90% of BC Hydro's generation is produced by hydroelectric means, we have to work hard to balance our customer's energy needs with the concerns of the environment. We are investigating alternative sources of energy, like wind and wave power, in addition to using natural gas and thermal power to round out our generation portfolio.
, renewable energy is nothing to sneeze at. That said - electricity is the key word here.

While electric cars do exist, most vehicles still run on portable fuels. Are agrifood businesses using electric tractors? Is anyone?

Quote:
In the U.S., up to 20 percent of the country's fossil fuel consumption goes into the food chain, according to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which points out that fossil fuel use by the food systems in the developed world "often rivals that of automobiles".

To feed an average family of four in the developed world uses up the equivalent of 930 gallons of gasoline a year -- just shy of the 1,070 gallons that same family would use up each year to power their cars.

The average developed world diet uses 1,600 liters of fossil fuels each year, according to the U.S. based Organic Consumers Association (OCA). Only 256 of those liters come from transporting the food, says OCA.


Where are the other litres coming from? Fossil fuel based fertilizers are a big part of that number:

Quote:
By contrast, a whopping 496 liters goes into the chemical fertilizers used during the food growing stage, representing well over one third of the food chain's entire fossil fuel consumption.


Source




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#19 Jan 04 2012 at 9:24 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
I propose an American Thermal Unit which will be determined by the heat produced from an M-16 muzzle flash.
At least go with the M4a1 Carbine. Newer model.
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#20 Jan 04 2012 at 9:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
I propose an American Thermal Unit which will be determined by the heat produced from an M-16 muzzle flash.
At least go with the M4a1 Carbine. Newer model.


And then we can work on a new geologic time scale based on carbine dating.

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#21 Jan 04 2012 at 10:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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And then we can work on a new geologic time scale based on carbine dating.

Boooooooooooo.... Smiley: mad
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#22 Jan 04 2012 at 11:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Samira wrote:
And then we can work on a new geologic time scale based on carbine dating.

Boooooooooooo.... Smiley: mad
An assault on good taste, huh?
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#23 Jan 04 2012 at 11:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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Samira wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
I propose an American Thermal Unit which will be determined by the heat produced from an M-16 muzzle flash.
At least go with the M4a1 Carbine. Newer model.


And then we can work on a new geologic time scale based on carbine dating.

The dating scheme will be given in times Before Vietnam (BV) and After Vietnam (AV).
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#24 Jan 05 2012 at 3:49 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Samira wrote:
And then we can work on a new geologic time scale based on carbine dating.

Boooooooooooo.... Smiley: mad


A good joke always rifles the odd feather.
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#25 Jan 05 2012 at 6:55 AM Rating: Good
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Kavekk wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Samira wrote:
And then we can work on a new geologic time scale based on carbine dating.

Boooooooooooo.... Smiley: mad


A good joke always rifles the odd feather.


So what you're saying is Jophiel is an odd duck?
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#26 Jan 05 2012 at 8:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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The caliber of puns in this thread are pretty stock.
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#27 Jan 05 2012 at 8:49 AM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
The caliber of puns in this thread are pretty stock.

We should probably scope out some alternatives before someone starts to rail at us.
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#28 Jan 05 2012 at 9:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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Puns always help a thread move at a good clip. though they do make some people recoil in horror I suppose.

(I was going to try for a holographic red dot laser sight pun, but I realized it was horrible even by my standards...)
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#29 Jan 05 2012 at 9:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
Puns always help a thread move at a good clip. though they do make some people recoil in horror I suppose.


Well, there might be some better ones by the time they reload the page.
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#30 Jan 05 2012 at 10:06 AM Rating: Excellent
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We would still be concerned with price per barrel.
Stock options would also be important.
Not to mention price clipping.
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#31 Jan 05 2012 at 10:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah some people got the words in first. But I wanted to take my shot.
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#32 Jan 05 2012 at 10:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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Scraping the bottom of the Barrel, Jonwin proceeds to kill the thread.
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#33 Jan 05 2012 at 10:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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This topic is olde. I read about it in a magazine a while ago.

Also, I blame Samira for everything Smiley: mad

Edited, Jan 5th 2012 10:35am by Jophiel
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#34 Jan 05 2012 at 1:04 PM Rating: Good
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Just scoping out posting opportunities.
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#35 Jan 05 2012 at 3:16 PM Rating: Good
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*Don't shoot*

Fossil fuels to corn to ethanol to fuel may yield 34% more energy than simply fossil fuels to fuel but there are other plants that would yield far more. Most are perennials, so not only do they make lots more energy-yielding stuff with less input, they don't need yearly reseeding.

Hopefully getting rid of the corn subsidies will make room for their use.

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#36 Jan 05 2012 at 3:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah. I supported corn ethanol as a proof of concept style experiment. Now that we know it can work and corn is impacting food supplies, I think it's time to move into another agricultural product for ethanol refining.

Also, gun pun.
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#37 Jan 05 2012 at 3:52 PM Rating: Decent
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#38 Jan 05 2012 at 3:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Yeah. I supported corn ethanol as a proof of concept style experiment. Now that we know it can work and corn is impacting food supplies, I think it's time to move into another agricultural product for ethanol refining.

We should aim for the Brazilian sugarcane farming industry next!

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#39 Jan 05 2012 at 3:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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With our orbital laser cannon?
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#40 Jan 05 2012 at 4:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Yeah. I supported corn ethanol as a proof of concept style experiment. Now that we know it can work and corn is impacting food supplies, I think it's time to move into another agricultural product for ethanol refining.



switchgrass and farm waste products
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#41 Jan 05 2012 at 4:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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There was a lot of buzz about using algae for biofuel generation a few years back, but I've not heard much about it lately. Hopefully everyone is just heads down working on the science and not belly up from lack of funding. Boy, they would be the **** of a lot of stock jokes and puns if that were the case!

Algae seems like a great option because it is more carbon neutral throughout the life cycle and can be grown in a much wider range of climates and environments than corn.
#42 Jan 05 2012 at 4:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Algal biofuels are a great piece of tec, but need more time and money to be viable compared to other simpler methods.
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#43 Jan 05 2012 at 4:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think we should use industrial hemp for biofuel.
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#44 Jan 05 2012 at 5:50 PM Rating: Good
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I heard research was being done with kudzu.

We will never, ever run out of THAT particular weed.
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#45 Jan 06 2012 at 4:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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Georgia alone could supply the world with kudzu fuel.
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#46 Jan 06 2012 at 8:33 AM Rating: Good
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Poo. Poo should fuel the world.

Someone start collecting it.
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#47 Jan 06 2012 at 8:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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Can't. There's already a lot of **** running the world.
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#48 Jan 06 2012 at 1:40 PM Rating: Good
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Besides the Japanese are already turning poo into steaks.
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