Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Ethanol! What is it and is it a good idea?
First off what is Ethanol? You here about it all the time from the news and politicians. Ethanol is an alcohol-based fuel made by fermenting and distilling crops that have been broken down into simple sugars. In the United States, ethanol is generally made from starch crops such as corn or sorghum. Ethanol production consumed about 11 percent of all U.S. grown corn in 2004. That number is expected to grow in years to come.
I don't like the idea of using food to produce fuel for vehicles. The amount of corn required to produce 32 gallons of ethanol (enough to fill pick-up or SUV) will feed one person for one year. Corn prices are already rising.
To make the existing oil last a little longer, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we are going to move away from oil that has only 2-3 major uses fuel, lubrication, plastics and move towards a resource "food" whch we all need to survive?
When more and more farmers begin growing corn instead of wheat, barley, alfalfa, soy etc. because of the huge demand for corn and the high price it commands, what will happen to the market for these other grains? They will be in short supply and the prices will rise. Who wants to pay more for food so that there vehicle can burn E85! This is crazy! Don't use food to run your car!