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Ten Reasons to be Optimistic about Ethanol
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posted
Cindy Zimmerman
August 15, 2008

Just back from the 21st Ethanol Conference and Trade Show, here are some comments I heard that are good reasons to be optimistic about the future of the ethanol industry.

1. “America must become energy independent and ethanol is one step in that process.” Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman

2. “Corn-based ethanol is going to be around for a long time – it’s the foundation of what we are doing with ethanol.” Gov. Heineman

3. “By 2030, we’ll have a national average of corn yield of 300 bushels to the acre, double what we have now. Monsanto stands behind that, Pioneer says the same thing and so does Syngenta, so it has to be right – it’s the only thing those three companies agree on.” Rick Tolman, National Corn Growers Association

4. “Our ethanol per acre is growing so we can produce more ethanol from fewer bushels of corn.” Rick Tolman

5. “Corn ethanol is the ‘ugly baby’ with a bright future.” Rick Tolman

6. “Last year the use of fuel was up, but the use of gasoline was down and for the first time in 30 years, we imported less oil in the United States than we did the previous year.” Ron Lamberty, ACE

7. “I have never seen the kind of progress in cellulosic ethanol that we are seeing today, I have never seen the kind of investment by private industry and academia, there is a tremendous amount of pressure in the country to move this forward and it is definitely having the best chance it has ever had.” Jeff Broin, POET

8. “We are the freedom fighters in this battle – we’re fighting big dollars, big press machines, but we got faith, we got spirit, we got the truth.” Bob Scott of POET, ACE president

9. “According to the independent data, the fuel price benefits to households far outweigh the food costs associated with biofuels and the EPA came to the only conclusion the facts would permit – a complete rejection of the Texas request. Not only did the EPA summarily deny the request, they set a very high threshold, a very strict precedent for future states to wave the RFS.” Brian Jennings, ACE

10. “We are underdogs, but we keep going and we keep winning. We have fueled a revolution to make gasoline the alternative fuel.” Brian Jennings

There’s many more good reasons - but you get the idea. The ‘ugly baby’ of corn ethanol is growing up and its better looking cousin cellulosic is well on its way into the world - the revolution is changing the world and the industry keeps fighting.
http://www.goodfuels.org/2008/08/ten-reasons-to-be-optimistic-about-ethanol/
 
Registered: August 27, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What does the ethanol industry plan to do with the spent mash from all that corn?



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by john galt:
What does the ethanol industry plan to do with the spent mash from all that corn?
Dry it and sell it as high-grade distiller's grain.


"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

George Orwell
 
Registered: June 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There's a local researcher here that's figured out how to make ethanol from whey permeate, the waste of the dairy/cheese industry. Just one city over, we're getting one of the nation's first cellulosic ethanol plants, attached to a paper mill. They'll be converting waste of the paper process into ethanol. It's not just a 'corn thing' anymore.


"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

George Orwell
 
Registered: June 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by john galt:
What does the ethanol industry plan to do with the spent mash from all that corn?


It is a more perfect feed for cattle than the corn was.
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: April 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Making Ethanol from Whey is old technology. I was into the Ethanol thing in the '70's, after the first Arab Embargo ???

Still can't see the big push for corn, when there are MUCH better crops, besides the cellulose technology finally being perfected.
 
Location: Costa Rica | Registered: October 01, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by doogsleuf:
Cindy Zimmerman
August 15, 2008

Just back from the 21st Ethanol Conference and Trade Show, here are some comments I heard that are good reasons to be optimistic about the future of the ethanol industry.

1. “America must become energy independent and ethanol is one step in that process.” Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman

2. “Corn-based ethanol is going to be around for a long time – it’s the foundation of what we are doing with ethanol.” Gov. Heineman

3. “By 2030, we’ll have a national average of corn yield of 300 bushels to the acre, double what we have now. Monsanto stands behind that, Pioneer says the same thing and so does Syngenta, so it has to be right – it’s the only thing those three companies agree on.” Rick Tolman, National Corn Growers Association

4. “Our ethanol per acre is growing so we can produce more ethanol from fewer bushels of corn.” Rick Tolman

5. “Corn ethanol is the ‘ugly baby’ with a bright future.” Rick Tolman

6. “Last year the use of fuel was up, but the use of gasoline was down and for the first time in 30 years, we imported less oil in the United States than we did the previous year.” Ron Lamberty, ACE

7. “I have never seen the kind of progress in cellulosic ethanol that we are seeing today, I have never seen the kind of investment by private industry and academia, there is a tremendous amount of pressure in the country to move this forward and it is definitely having the best chance it has ever had.” Jeff Broin, POET

8. “We are the freedom fighters in this battle – we’re fighting big dollars, big press machines, but we got faith, we got spirit, we got the truth.” Bob Scott of POET, ACE president

9. “According to the independent data, the fuel price benefits to households far outweigh the food costs associated with biofuels and the EPA came to the only conclusion the facts would permit – a complete rejection of the Texas request. Not only did the EPA summarily deny the request, they set a very high threshold, a very strict precedent for future states to wave the RFS.” Brian Jennings, ACE

10. “We are underdogs, but we keep going and we keep winning. We have fueled a revolution to make gasoline the alternative fuel.” Brian Jennings

There’s many more good reasons - but you get the idea. The ‘ugly baby’ of corn ethanol is growing up and its better looking cousin cellulosic like cargo liners as well on its way into the world - the revolution is changing the world and the industry keeps fighting.
http://www.goodfuels.org/2008/08/ten-reasons-to-be-optimistic-about-ethanol/


Altering it in ethanol demands smaller amount of fossil fuel, therefore this stuff cam have a massive impact on diminishing greenhouse-gas emissions.
 
Location: Alabama | Registered: December 03, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by john galt:
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2976


Quoting from John Galt,
http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/66960555...801067282#4801067282

Corn hasn't been shown to be a particularly efficient crop for making ethanol, although the "super corn" mentioned above might help a bit.

I haven't heard much about corn biodiesel though... perhaps one could make both corn ethanol and corn biodiesel.

However, if you look at the article that John found, Sugar Cane (Brazil) and Sugar Beets (China) are much more efficient than corn for producing ethanol.

What isn't clear is if this would translate to the USA. We do grow sugar beets here in the USA, and I would think we could also grow cane sugar in the USA. However, our planting and harvesting methods are likely very different than in China and Brazil which use less mechanized equipment, and more manual labor.

The big thing that we need to do is figure out how to utilize the whole crop. So much corn is in the stalks, yet we mainly use only the seeds. Of course, cows love corn stalks... perhaps one would want to tie everything together... Corn seeds for ethanol/biodiesel + protein extract. Corn stalks plus the protein extract plus glycerin for feeding cows. Cheese for human consumption. Beef for human consumption (Simmental Cattle were bread for mixed dairy/beef production). Whey back to Ethanol. Butter biodiesel? Lard biodiesel? Oh, and don't forget the methane and fertilizer.
 
Location: Oregon | Registered: October 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I haven't heard much about corn biodiesel though... perhaps one could make both corn ethanol and corn biodiesel.


Some time ago, I proposed that in another thread. Actually, I've been pushing that idea since way before I joined this forum.
Yes, you can make biodiesel from corn. The downside is that corn has only about 2.7 % oil content, so you won't get a whole lot of it, but the main advantage is that that oil is free anyways (other than the cost of extraction). The smart way would be to extract the oil first, then produce the ethanol off the press cake, and last use the distillers grains for cattle feed. With any luck you'd get almost free ethanol.

quote:
What isn't clear is if this would translate to the USA. We do grow sugar beets here in the USA, and I would think we could also grow cane sugar in the USA.


The biggest advantage of ethanol (besides the environmental stuff) is that it can be produced locally. But "locally" doesn't mean "here in the U.S.". It means you can literally produce it right in your city, using feedstocks you can grow there. Or you can produce it at home, (with a permit from the TTB) just like you produce the BD. All grains and fruits produce ethanol, and so do several other vegetables, like sugar beets or sweet potatoes.
So, if you live in the South, you can use sugarcane, or corn in corn country, or anything else that suits your needs. There's not a single valid reason why you should stick to corn.
Of course, the holy grail would be algae and cellulosic ethanol, but while we're waiting for it, there's plenty of other alternatives.


************************

"When you don't think what you say, you say what you think" Jacinto Benavente.

"Wars not make one great" Yoda.

"A pessimist is a well informed optimist"

WWVhaCwgSSdtIGEgZ2Vlay4gU08gV0hBVD8=
 
Location: Miami, Florida. | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Those 10 reasons are a joke. Corn is a horrible feedstock for ethanol, for a multitude of reasons. Ethanol people who believe that ethanol=corn are as bad as biodiesel people who believe that biodiesel=soy. They are dinosaurs. Higher yield feedstocks that don't inhibit food crop production, and recycled "waste" feedstocks, are really the reasons to be optimistic about ethanol and biodiesel.


Kumar Plocher
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Location: Ukiah, CA USA | Registered: September 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ethanol people who believe that ethanol=corn are as bad as biodiesel people who believe that biodiesel=soy. They are dinosaurs.



Quit holding back Kumar!!!

Why don't you tell us how you REALLY feel???
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Corn is a horrible feedstock for ethanol, for a multitude of reasons.


No, it's not. It's just not the best feedstock, and most importantly, not the only one. However, it's a perfectly good option if the circumstances call for it.
Sure, sugarcane is a much better feedstock. Have you seen much sugarcane in the northern states?
Of course, switchgrass, sawdust and algae are WAAYYYY better feedstocks. Have you seen much ethanol being produced from either of them, worldwide, lately?
Those who preach corn as the only viable ethanol feedstock are not dinosaurs. They're just dishonest people, trying to perpetuate ignorance to suit their agenda, whatever that is. Look at this very forum. I have personally stated several times, and provided proof of it, that there are many better feedstocks than corn, however, some members of this forum have chosen to ignore those facts, and kept (and keep) on repeating their nonsense every chance they get, regardless of the fact that they've been repeatedly proven wrong in the past.
On the other hand, those that keep on naming cellulose and algae as the only viable ethanol feedstocks are no better. Cellulose and algae are great alternatives for the FUTURE, but so far, they're just hopes and dreams. We need to use what we have NOW, instead of doing nothing, while we dream with a better alternative.


************************

"When you don't think what you say, you say what you think" Jacinto Benavente.

"Wars not make one great" Yoda.

"A pessimist is a well informed optimist"

WWVhaCwgSSdtIGEgZ2Vlay4gU08gV0hBVD8=
 
Location: Miami, Florida. | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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The one big thing corn has going for it is - INFRASTRUCTURE - The mechanized equipment is available everwhere for harvesting, local transpertation, long distance transportation, marketing, sales, etc. have been in place for well over a hundred years.

There is also a LOT of money being spend to develop usage of the remainder of the corn plant, refered to as "corn stover", there are programs in place now where the ethanol plants will pay the farmer $30 - $50 per acre for it and the ethanol plants even contract with collection companies to remove it from the fields at no effort to the farmer. Upgrades are also available to combines that collect the stover directly from the back of the combine rather than broadcasting it back on the ground. The corn cobs are seperated from the stover for sale to the cosmetics industry, there velue is far greater there than as either cellulose feed stock or as boiler fuel, cob sales mostly pay for the cost of the stover and collection. A few ethanol plants are set up for old style acid cellulose conversion but, from what I read in this PDF, more of them use the stover as boiler fuel.

This link shows development of one such combine.

This is an article about measuring the merits of corn stover.

This is an article about pelletizing distillers grain.

Once pellitized the spent grain can also be used as fuel for the ethanol plant boilers, depends on if the value of the spent grain is more or less than the cost of other fuels. The wet distillers grain can also be used as feed without drying if the ethanol plant is close to a feed lot, the wet grain spoils quickly so is not practical to ship unless adding the more expensive step of drying.

Any crop that has free sugar reduces the ethanol production cost by eliminating the starch-to-sugar step needed for corn, potatoes, any other starch feed stock. Brazill uses mostly sugar cane, it is one of the reasons they can supply ethanol fuel at half or less the cost of even there locally produced gasoline, plus they grow it all year round.
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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