ethanol

New Research Blasts Supposed Efficiency of Corn Ethanol

Saturday, June 26, 2010 by: Aaron Turpen
Tags: ethanol, fuel, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
Ben and Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women
Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)
Harvard research links fluoridated water to ADHD, mental disorders
Right to farm being stripped from Americans: Michigan to criminalize small family farms with chickens, goats, honey bees and more
Delicious
(NaturalNews) New research from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) shows that corn-based ethanol biofuel is wasteful, inefficient, and a misuse of taxpayer money. This flies in the face of conventional wisdom in Washington (which we all know means "fat wallet wisdom") but agrees with the research you've already seen presented here on NaturalNews several times.

The study was written by Craig Cox and Andrew Hug this month for the EWG1 and has been presented to members of Congress and others. It details how much money has been spent by U.S. taxpayers to subsidize corn ethanol and how little the payoff for that huge investment has been.

First, an overview of what ethanol is and why corn has become the U.S. market's source of choice for making it.

What is ethanol?


Ethanol is, literally, grain alcohol. Properly called bioethanol,2 it is a clear, colorless liquid that is made from any of a number of plants including corn, hemp seed, etc. Potatoes refined and distilled into vodka are a type of bioethanol.

Why corn?


Corn is the lobbyist's crop of choice in the U.S. for making bioethanol. The reasons boil down to who has the most powerful lobbies in Washington and how much money Congress has been willing to pour into ethanol. Some of the most powerful lobbies in D.C. are the industrial farm industry and the bioengineering industry. Since corn is a big money maker for both Big Ag and is one of the most prolific of Monsanto's genetically modified seeds (GMO or GM food), it's a win-win-win for the lobbyists, Big Ag, and the Congressional leaders they write the checks to.

Why corn ethanol is a loser.


The EWG's report shows that besides the environmental and human problems that come with using corn as a fuel source,3 the dollar figures and fuel efficiency payoffs are infinitesimal. Even the amount of oil supposedly saved is tiny, especially considering the huge sums of money being thrown into corn ethanol production.

Taxpayer subsidies mean that every gallon of corn ethanol adds an additional 0.45 cents (as of 2009-10) to the cost of a gallon of gasoline. That's additional cost over and above the price of a gallon of gas, not instead of it. For this, we get a fuel that is much less efficient than gasoline and thus only minimally adds to the benefits of its addition. E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline) is the most common blend in the U.S. The 10.6 billion gallons produced in 2009, however, replaced only 7.2 billion gallons of gasoline thanks to this mixture.

That's not all, though. Because ethanol is less efficient than gasoline it cuts mileage by about 4%. Yet the proponents of ethanol love to point out that it displaces gasoline. But when you do the math, it's not displacing that much. Increasing fuel mileage nationally by 0.4 miles per gallon would do the same. That could be achieved by just using the recommended grade of motor oil or keeping the vehicle's tires properly inflated. Tuning the engine has double the payoff and driving sensibly would increase it by as much as 6.6%! Heck, just replacing clogged air filters increases economy by up to 1.2% and even if the government bought one for every vehicle in America, it would not likely cost as much as the $5.4 billion they're projected to spend subsidizing ethanol (not to mention corn) this year alone.

With all of the great technologies for improving fuel efficiency, getting us away from foreign oil imports, and replacing our petroleum-based fuels and infrastructure with more natural and sustainable alternatives, why is it that our congress-critters insist on throwing our tax dollars into corn-based ethanol?

Resources:
1 - Driving Under the Influence: Corn Ethanol & Energy Security by Craig Cox and Andrew Hug, Environmental Working Group

2 - Bioethanol on FutureCars.com

3 -
Ethanol burns dirtier than gasoline, study finds
by Mike Adams, NaturalNews

4 - Counterthink: Fuel vs. Food by Mike Adams and Dan Berger, NaturalNews


About the author

Aaron Turpen is a professional writer living in Wyoming in the USA. His blogs cover organic/sustainable living and environmental considerations (AaronsEnvironMental.com) and the science debunking mainstream medical and proving alternatives (HiddenHealthScience.com).

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.