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Thu Aug 2 00:39:23 EDT 2007

"Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion into
ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make one gallon of ethanol. One gallon
of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTUS. Thus, 70 percent more
energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in
it. Every time you make one gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of
54,000 BTUs."

"Ethanol from corn costs about $1.74 per gallon to produce, compared with
about 95 cents to produce a gallon of gasoline. "That helps explain why
fossil fuels-not ethanol-are used to produce ethanol", Pimentel says. "The
growers and processors can't afford to burn ethanol to make ethanol. U.S.
drivers couldn't afford it, either, if it weren't for government subsidies
to artificially lower the price". "

I've also read that if 100% of our current corn production was devoted to
ethanol production it would account for somthing like 15% of our fueling
need. To provide 100% of our fueling need through corn ethanol it would take
every farm that currently exists in the country to stop everything they are
doing and produce corn exclusively. Sounds viable... yeah.

Of course it's also been proven that a Hummer H2 is better for the
environment then a Toyota Prius. Agreed it's all just a smoke screen. IMO
electics or hybrids that are solar recharged are a good way to go, but then
solar cells are expensive too.

-Cody Forbes
'87 5ktq - Fast.
'86 5ktqCD
'86 5k
'86 5k

LL - NY wrote:
> It is not. It takes nearly as much fossil fuel energy to produce
> the ethanol (from corn, anyway, the Brazilians are much better
> off b/c they make their ethanol from cane sugar, which is one
> of their main crops) as the energy we get out of it.
> It's a smoke screen, it makes us think we are doing something
> about reducing fossil fuel use, atmospheric CO2 levels, and
> dependency on foreign oil, but it really doesn't help much. Unless
> you're a corn futures broker.
> LL - NY
> On 8/4/07, William Magliocco <magliocc at> wrote:
>> Agreed, Brett.  The cocktail was burned off in less
>> than a week.
>> The 100 in question is the most well sealed fuel
>> system of any car I have owned.  I love to hear the
>> air rush in when I pull the cap off at the gas
>> station.
>> Not wishing to start a flame war, though, I am not
>> convinced that the US approach to ethanol is energy
>> efficient.
>> --- Brett Dikeman <quattro at> wrote:
>>> On Aug 4, 2007, at 4:37 PM, William Magliocco wrote:
>>>> I once made an ~E-25 cocktail with a 1/4 tank of
>>> E-85
>>>> then the rest 93 octane premium in my '93 100.
>>> Yes,
>>>> the engine liked it better, but the wallet did
>>> not.
>>> You can't run more than about 20% alcohol according
>>> to the manual, if
>>> I recall.  Damages the seals and hoses.
>>> Also, ethanol fuel is hygroscopic like you wouldn't
>>> believe.  You
>>> have to use it fast, or have a very well sealed
>>> system, or you're
>>> going to end up with water, and hence rust the
>>> injectors, regulator,
>>> etc.
>>> One of ethanol's many problems as a fuel.  Even in
>>> Brazil, the number
>>> of ethanol cars is dropping, and it is widely
>>> available and (I
>>> believe) cheaper.
>>> Brett
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