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EPA likely to approve grain sorghum for cleaner ethanol
Fuel Fix ^ | August 15, 2012 at 3:30 | Associated Press

Posted on 08/16/2012 5:15:37 AM PDT by thackney

The federal government is on the verge of approving a grain mainly used as livestock feed to make a cleaner version of ethanol, a decision officials say could give farmers a new moneymaking opportunity, boost the biofuels industry and help the environment.

A plant in western Kansas already is gearing up to take advantage, launching a multimillion-dollar renovation so it can be the first to turn sorghum — a plant similar in appearance to corn — into advanced ethanol. Advanced biofuels result in even less lifetime greenhouse gas production than conventional biofuels, measuring from the time a crop is planted to when the fuel is burned in a vehicle.

The only advanced biofuels in the United States now are sugar cane-based ethanol imported from Brazil and domestic biodiesel, a mixture of petroleum diesel and renewable sources such as soybean oil, said Matt Hartwig, spokesman for the Renewable Fuels Association. Advanced ethanol made from sorghum would give the nation another option as it aims to meet the federal goal of producing 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels per year by 2022.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: energy; ethanol

1 posted on 08/16/2012 5:15:42 AM PDT by thackney
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To: thackney

More idiocy. It costs more to make this ethanol, uses up soil resources, and produces a diluted fuel which causes harm to engines. And then they try to say that this is good for the environment!

Dumb, dumb, dumb.


2 posted on 08/16/2012 5:20:44 AM PDT by docbnj
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To: docbnj

The government is involved, what could go wrong?


3 posted on 08/16/2012 5:22:41 AM PDT by Captain PJ
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To: thackney
This might help keep fuel prices down, considering corn crops are bad this year and ethanol is a Government mandated oxygenating additive.

However, it is likely the diversion of feed crops will cause an increase in the price of livestock (and meat).

4 posted on 08/16/2012 5:22:59 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: thackney

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), also known as milo, has a variety of uses including food for human consumption, feed grain for livestock and industrial applications such as ethanol production. The area planted to sorghum worldwide has increased by 66 percent over the past 50 years, while yield has increased by 244 percent. Around half of the sorghum produced is fed to livestock, and half is consumed by humans and used in other applications.Sorghum is grown in 14 states.

Historically, Kansas and Texas have been the top two sorghum-producing states. In 2011 the two states retained their ranking as leading producers, harvesting 78 percent of the U.S. sorghum crop. Kansas produced 110 million bushels valued at $671 million, while Texas produced 56 million bushels valued at $331 million. Other states producing large quantities of grain sorghum include Oklahoma, Colorado, South Dakota, Louisiana and Nebraska.

http://www.agmrc.org/commodities__products/grains__oilseeds/sorghum/sorghum_profile.cfm


5 posted on 08/16/2012 5:27:13 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: thackney
Mandating the burning of food as fuel is just evil and does not take into account the weather. When crops fail food will cost more and if they really fail people will starve. that comfortable cushion is gone.
6 posted on 08/16/2012 5:28:54 AM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again.")
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To: docbnj

Agreed. I detest ethenol for what it does to small engines. Another example of unintended consquences.


7 posted on 08/16/2012 5:31:33 AM PDT by goodn'mad
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To: thackney

Ethanol. doesn’t work.


8 posted on 08/16/2012 5:31:37 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Might, but they will have to figure out a way to use the whole plant and not just the seed head.

Since the juice from the stalks of sorghum is not much different than juice from sugarcane, if they don't have a way to process the juice out in the location where it's raised, they will probably be going backwards.

You can't stack wet sorghum for processing later. It will catch on fire.

It will probably cost more to produce than you get out of it.

9 posted on 08/16/2012 5:50:10 AM PDT by IMR 4350
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To: thackney

Once I thought that Ethanol was a good idea, now though? It only makes sense when there are bumper crops and it’s either convert to ethanol or leave the grain to rot or be eaten by rodents.

Burning our food just doesn’t seem to make sense anymore especially with all of the new petroleum coming on-line through new production techniques.


10 posted on 08/16/2012 5:51:34 AM PDT by The Working Man
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To: thackney

I believe there is a moral component to the act of selfishly burning our food for fuel.


11 posted on 08/16/2012 5:52:53 AM PDT by Obadiah (If Reagan had another son he would have looked like Paul Ryan.)
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To: bert

Looking at the bright side, these critters love milo and as a result, the vast crop fields in Western Kansas have become some of the best bird hunting in the world. Fun to bag, great to eat, sells guns, more income for farmers, and it p*sses off PETA libtards.

12 posted on 08/16/2012 6:08:17 AM PDT by Zakeet (If you don't like abortions, don't get one. If I don't like guns, we should ban them.)
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To: Obadiah

For decades Americans have shown the world how to grow more food than they can possibly eat.

So much food that they can BURN it to heat their houses, power their cars AND STILL HAVE TOO MUCH GRAIN!

They have rejected our ideas and methods.

There is a price for stubborn stupidity.

LET THE BASTARDS STARVE TO DEATH.


13 posted on 08/16/2012 6:13:34 AM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: thackney

My wife is a gardener and often grows cherry tomatoes.

The plants usually produce a surprising (at least to me) abundance of fruit for their size and space and many varieties are incredibly sweet.

I’ve often wondered if those couldn’t be an alternative source of sugar for ethanol production compared to corn or perhaps as an alternative to sugar beets. Don’t know enough about the soil requirements, but it seems cherry tomatoes are a lot less demanding and produce for a longer period than corn.

I imagine harvesting is not as easy to automate though.


14 posted on 08/16/2012 6:27:34 AM PDT by chrisser (Starve the Monkeys!)
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To: Zakeet

Pheasants used to be a very common sight (and sound) here in southern Michigan but with the return of the native turkeys pheasants are increasingly rare.


15 posted on 08/16/2012 6:28:52 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: thackney

The cattle industry is no friend of the Marxists in Washington nor to the animal rights nuts so this would be right up the enemy within’s alley.

If they can make meat too expensive they will have succeeded in nudging us in the direction the FWOTUS (First Wookie of the USA) wants us to follow.

We have all the energy we need right here in the USA and we do not need to be burning our fuel. To unleash this USA energy would simply require ejecting all the Marxists in the WH and more importantly congress.


16 posted on 08/16/2012 6:53:45 AM PDT by Wurlitzer (Nothing says "ignorance" like Islam!)
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To: docbnj

We need to get away from this E-fuel BS. Now they want to go after another feed grain?? Makes one think that they also have some PETA thinking in addition to the silly climate change poop.

Brazil is awash in ethanol and they really would like to export it to us, but the US taxes their ethanol to the point its not imported and instead we stupidly burn our food.

The watermelon greenies be damned!


17 posted on 08/16/2012 6:53:53 AM PDT by X-spurt (It is truly time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
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To: cripplecreek

The question left unanswered is: how much did the owner of the Kentucky processing plant contribute to the Obama campaign?


18 posted on 08/16/2012 6:55:23 AM PDT by FirstFlaBn
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To: docbnj
Agreed, ethanol is just a crappy source of fuel especially when one takes into consideration how much energy goes into the production. I think a viable partial solution could be found from algae sourced bio-fuel. Much of our waste streams could be used as food to grow the algae and depending on the type used it wouldn’t even consume much in the way of our precious fresh water supplies. It’s hard to imagine how massive the infrastructure would have to be to produce all the diesel one would expect the nation too use. Perhaps 50 years of building and investing in refineries and farms may get us close. Not sure though – I kinda just pulled that number out of my a$$.

Algae is also a potential food source, see Spirulina

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirulina_(dietary_supplement)

As unpopular as the sentiment may be I think we do need to come to grips with the inconvenient reality that we simply cannot expect to indefinitely use crude oil as our primary fuel source and also realize that using up fresh water and top soil (primary food production sources) is suicidal. Growth of developing nations will continue to put pressure on our supplies and simply producing more crude oil is not a viable or sustainable solution.

Crude oil is a finite and diminishing energy source. Top soil and fresh water are precious resources. The world has a plentiful supply of garbage, sun light, and salt water. The solution seems obvious to me – algae!
19 posted on 08/16/2012 7:35:30 AM PDT by chaos_5
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To: thackney

Why not something useless that grows aggressively with minimal or no care? Kudzu comes to mind, or goldenrod or endless other weeds suited to their particular niches?


20 posted on 08/16/2012 8:00:59 AM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed &water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: docbnj
Get ready for more depletion of the Ogalala Aquifer as water is sucked up to make fuel, not food!
21 posted on 08/16/2012 8:13:19 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Tyrannies demand immense sacrifices of their people to produce trifles.-Marquis de Custine)
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To: thackney

Nixon’s legacy, the EPA, a nation destroyer. Who’da thunk it?


22 posted on 08/16/2012 9:19:24 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: X-spurt
Brazil is awash in ethanol and they really would like to export it to us, but the US taxes their ethanol to the point its not imported and instead we stupidly burn our food.

The larger per gallon tax was dropped last year when the subsidy was dropped. What is left is only a 2.5% ad valorem tariff on the import of ethanol for use in fuel.

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/law/US/393

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/u-s-congress-stops-ethanol-subsidies-tariff-on-brazilian-imports/

2.5% is not an overly burdensome import tax.

The US has been a net exporter of fuel ethanol since Jan 2010. We produce more than we use. There is not a shortage.

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MFENT_NUS-Z00_2&f=M

In fact the last couple years we were exporting to Brazil as their demand exceeded their own supply. But the last few months we had small imports from them.

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MFENT_NUS-NBR_2&f=M

Brazil is the second largest producer of ethanol in the world after the United States. In 2010, Brazil produced 486,000 bbl/d of ethanol, up from 450,000bbl/d in 2009. A combination of high world sugar prices, a poor sugar cane harvest, and underinvestment caused a precipitous decline in ethanol production in 2011. While official numbers for the year have not been released, estimates place 2011 production around 390,000 bbl/d – close to a 20 percent drop year on year.This shortage forced Brazil to import corn ethanol from the United States.

http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=BR

The Brazilian government has taken measures to prevent future ethanol supply shortages and increase public involvement in the sector. The government lowered the blend requirement in gasoline from 25 percent to 20 percent. Additionally, it brought regulation of the ethanol sector under the jurisdiction of the ANP and announced plans to expand Petrobras' presence in the ethanol market. In the medium term, Brazil aspires to export ethanol to the United States, which recently removed tariffs on Brazilian sugar cane ethanol.

23 posted on 08/16/2012 11:01:57 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: JimRed
Why not something useless that grows aggressively with minimal or no care? Kudzu comes to mind, or goldenrod or endless other weeds suited to their particular niches?

To be economic, the plant needs to produce some significant amount of sugars. Converting cellulose to ethanol has been a dream for some for quite a while, but the economics still make it a losing proposition unless an economic enzyme is found that can be produced in large quantities to break it down.

24 posted on 08/16/2012 11:06:40 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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