Skip to comments.Itís Corn vs. Soybeans in a Biofuels Debate
Posted on 07/13/2006 11:33:47 PM PDT by neverdem
CHICAGO, July 12 Biodiesel produced from soybeans produces more usable energy and reduces greenhouse gases more than corn-based ethanol, making it more deserving of subsidies, according to a study being published this month in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study, done by researchers at the University of Minnesota and at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., points to the environmental benefits of the biodiesel over ethanol made from corn, stating that ethanol provides 25 percent more energy a gallon than is required for its production, while soybean biodiesel generates 93 percent more energy.
The studys authors also found that ethanol, in its production and consumption, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 12 percent, compared with fossil fuels. Biodiesel, they said, reduces such emissions 41 percent, compared with fossil fuels.
The study concludes that the future of replacing oil and gas lies with cellulosic ethanol produced from low-cost materials like switch grass or wheat straw, if it is grown on agriculturally marginal land or from waste plant material.
Indeed, the study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that neither ethanol nor biodiesel can replace much petroleum without having an impact on food supply. If all American corn and soybean production were dedicated to biofuels, that fuel would replace only 12 percent of gas demand and 6 percent of diesel demand, the study notes.
Researchers at universities and at the United States Agriculture Department have debated ethanols benefits as policy makers continue to struggle with how to respond to high gasoline prices and how to reduce Americas dependence on foreign oil.
Some lawmakers have urged an end to federal subsidies of 51 cents a gallon for ethanol refiners. The subsidies have helped create a boom in ethanol production and have made ethanol more profitable than ever.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
100% correct. The US uses over 22 million barrels of oil a day. And the supply is now in decline. Even the tar sands at max production will only produce 2-2.5 million barrels a day. The hurt is coming.
Listen to me & nobody gets hurt!
Start by reading Thomas Golds books & related material you'll find under his books on Amazon.
Petroleum, dude, it's right there in the name, "Rock Oil", rock on, the earth makes it, always has, always will.
It's how we deal with it that's the prob'.
After WW II, we should have developed the oil fields differently, but it's not too late to start now.
We'll be fine.
Those studies always seem to include all of the energy costs and assign 100% of those costs to the production of ethanol. Ethanol is not the only product made by the process tho'. There are a few other things produced (the spent grains are used as feedstock, etc) that these costs need to be divided among. When that is correctly done there is a net energy gain from ethanol production. It's not great, but it's there.
You hit the screw on the head. The society that creates ethanol or biodiesel uses mostly conventional fuels to shelter and feed itself. The tools to keep society in running order require energy to make. But take away part of the economy and we would get fairly substantial drops in energy prices since the prices are determined on the margin.
A debate??? Sounds like a two pronged exercise in futility to me!!!
It's an exercise to see who gets the most government handouts.
That's what bugs me, the $'y is all topsy turvy.
The $ slapback kickback keeps alot of good people & ideas out of the game.
"These decisions will not be made in the penthouses of NY skyscrapers. In fact, farmers alternate planting corn and soybeans because soybeans fix nitrogen in the soil that corn uses."
Sadly, the exact opposite is true. Farmers grow what a bank will loan on. The bank will loan on what the Feds guarantee. The penthouses control the market outlet. They control the lobbyists that push the legislature's wishes. Hence no labeling laws and farmers competing with third world producers. Do you think the farmer in Western Kansas or Nebraska has much choice on where to take his crop to market? Or what price he will get?
I have pushed for all that to change. Maybe soon it will. The emerging energy market may be the one way to break farmers free from their involuntary market position and finally allow them to compete in the free market on a level playing field.
This was once again brought to my attention by calcowgirl, yesterday!!!
She brings a lot of telling things to FR!!!
But hey! They're Republicans!! Jones couldn't beat Boxer, but he sure knows how to strike it RICH with insider knowledge and trading!!! How much insider trading did he report to the SEC, ccg? (yes, I know it's legal!)
Kinda reminds me of Ross Perot and his insider knowledge that helped him make his billions off being the contract administrator/programmer for Medicare and LBJ's "War on Poverty!"
You'll forgive my saying so, but we must farm on different planets. Farmers' planting decisions are based upon any number of factors which, all combined, most reasonably predict the most profitable crop. And, yes, even farmers in western Nebraska have marketing power; they have the power to raise corn to not to raise corn; to sell corn as a cash crop to to consume on the farm; ad infinitum.
Here's a wind powered tractor plowing a field of algae. Saltwater plants are the future for fuel, not freshwater land plants. The land, water, and sunshine are free. The ocean 200 miles offshore is also free of environmentalists and lawyers. The fuel can be produced closer to the coasts where most people live. Petroleum originally comes from saltwater algae.
I'm glad you brought this up. I took a closer look at Yahoo-Finance-PEIX. They have a MAJOR glitch--overstating the dollars by a factor of 10. Instead of the 400 million shown there for the Jones family, it is 40 million. And instead of $1 billion in insider trading, the correct calculation gives you $100 million.
Regardless, it's been a busy few months for the 4 top dumpers. They've filed to sell more just as Arnie was out pumping yesterday and releasing his new "Bioenergy Action Plan" which includes, among other things, a push for ethanol.
(WARNING-5MB PDF file--recommend doing a 'save as' if you want to read this).
Here are the corrected numbers for the Top-4 insiders.
*Koehler and his brothers (Paul and Tom) are nationwide players:Bill Jones Apr 18 - Jul 06 2006 $10,377,001 Ryan Turner (Jones son-in-law) Apr 18 - May 16 2006 $28,964,106 Neil Koehler* Apr 18 - Apr 20 2006 $21,009,002 Frank Greinke Apr 18 - Apr 25 2006 $44,054,001 Total Big-4 $104,404,110
I think that even if you recovered every bit of cooking oil, it probably is statistically insignifigant. Even a busy place probably won't generate more than 15-20 gallons a day. After it's processed, it's even less.
I'm not saying don't use it, definately do, but it probably doesn't amount to much.
Say now... That's the kind of major glitch one could make a "Federal Case" out of with a sharp attorney! That could be considered "injurious!"
Yahoo's finance site used to be really good.
It's gone waaaaaay downhill in the past few years.
The numbers are still outrageous for a company that hasn't turned a profit. With management selling all of their shares, I won't be a buyer. But, then again, with folks like Bill Gates and Vinod Khosla behind them, along with new regulations mandating ethanol being pushed by the Governor himself, how can they lose?
Here's an article I found today:
Pacific Ethanol produces a new crop of millionaires
By Bethany Clough and Jeff St. John / The Fresno Bee
Updated Sunday, June 11, 2006
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