Skip to comments.Ethanol leading to a corn-based bubble
Posted on 06/08/2013 11:03:53 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee
A corn-based bubble is building on the horizon, with expectations of a large oversupply of high-priced ethanol that has nowhere to go.
The phenomenon is a product of environmental requirements and subsidies that are currently leading refiners to buy ethanol at record prices, according to analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Refiners and other parties that produce fuels are required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to buy supplies of ethanol to blend with their gasoline. For each gallon of ethanol they blend into their fuel, refiners get a credit, also known as a Renewable Identification Number, or RIN.
Refiners need to acquire a set amount of RINs annually to meet EPA requirements, and can also do so by buying RINs from other parties.
While the current supply of corn-based ethanol is down, because of a drought that affected production, output is expected to grow to levels that will leave the country with an oversupply of the fuel that will go unused unless something changes.
Thats because the EPA is requiring refiners to buy more ethanol at a time when fuel makers say they cant blend any more of it into their gasoline.
The nations consumption of gasoline is falling and refiners say they can only replace 10 percent of their main gasoline blend with ethanol.
Ten percent of the nations expected 2013 gasoline consumption 13.3 billion gallons, a volume of ethanol that would fall within the mandate this year. But 10 percent of gasoline consumption will likely fall short of mandates in the future, EIA analyst Sean Hill said.
While the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy have insisted that gasoline blends including as much as 15 percent ethanol is safe for most vehicles, automakers and the oil industry have disagreed. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at fuelfix.com ...
Without marketing more of a higher blend of ethanol, refineries could be left blending ethanol into gasoline that is not used, just to meet EPA requirements, Hill said.
An alternative could be for refiners to start making more E85, which is a blend of gasoline with 85 percent ethanol, Hill said.
But most gasoline stations do not sell E85 and the majority of fuel makers have no way of changing retail stations to sell more of that fuel.
It can be used as moonshine or converted to vinegar. It can serve as a feedstock for many chemical processes or directly as a solvent.
Waste ethanol is an oxymoron.
Oil out of the ground is a lot more efficient....
I have some ideas on what to do with it...
Fuel ethanol production is a actually down quite a bit from a few years ago.
E10 is a waste of corn for food production, is inefficient to produce, and does not increase mileage.
E15 already is, and will cause untold damage to pre-2012 model engines and fuel systems.
The EPA scam continues.
The service manager of the local Government Motors dealership stated that GM told him that switching from E-85 to gasoline the user would increase their mileage by 30%.
Ethanol plants here in Indiana are closing up like old K-Marts. I doubt there will be an oversupply.
Ethanol has significantly less heat content per volume vs. gasoline.
With the huge increase in domestic oil and gas production, ethanol has become “yesterday’s fuel”
Almost. Ethanol has 30% less BTUs than gas. So, at e-85 (85% ethanol) you would get 25.5% less mileage. There is no way around this. Basically what you get is a nearly 26% increase in cost tho...
In the meantime, he no longer raises other vegees.
Maybe someone should tell Michelle that kids can't eat/drink ethanol in school.
Another government mandated boondoggle distorting the marketplace.
Watch for lobbying now to increase the blend past E15.
Why do people keep repeating this misconception? The corn used for ethanol is NOT for human consumption. Humans could not stand to eat it. It is corn grown specifically to feed cattle and produce other products.
When corn is processed through an ethanol product. The starch, which cattle do not need, is converted to ethanol. The byproduct is distilled grains which is basically enriched cattle feed. The corn is only borrowed for a while to produce ethanol before it is fed to cattle. There are many reasons to complain about US ethanol policy, but saying it is a waste of food is BS. Guess who started the fuel for food rumors? If you said the oil companies, you would be correct.
lain about the US e
BS..read your owners manual... unless you have "flex-fuel" vehicle, using any ethanol blend higher than 10% invalidates the warranty and can cause serious damage to your engine and fuel system. Small engines like in lawn mowers and especially boat motors can be totally wrecked by using a single tank full of ethanol blended gasoline. Corn ethanol is a boondoggle that enriches corn farmers and ethanol producers and does not reduce the consumption of oil. It would be cheaper to just write corn farmers a government check for producing corn than to support this bio-fuel boondoggle.
We say “low-information” but we mean “low-intelligence”
Interesting tag but if intelligence means as measured by IQ tests some of the lowest of the low information voters have high IQ numbers. I can show you one in my family, in fact you are welcome to him, 38 years old, computer science graduate, 140 plus IQ, falls for every bucket of crap the left slings, believes every word, thinks he knows more about how the world works than anyone else even though he is a total failure by any normal measure, I know plenty of people with a two digit IQ whose accomplishments exceed his by orders of magnitude but he thinks he is qualified to instruct me in politics. He is as naive as anyone of his age I have ever known but believes he is too smart to be fooled. He is intelligent in a strictly technical way but will probably never live long enough to learn how to run his own life. He actually watches MSNBC to learn the “truth” that is being concealed by Fox News in his view. Some of the most ignorant sounding statements I have ever heard have come from his mouth. I really wish I knew how to help him but he doesn’t think he needs help, he thinks the rest of us need help.
It’s a fact. They do use “feed corn” for ethanol. Meaning corn used to produce food for cattle, hogs, chickens, ducks whatever. And animal feed has increased substantially because of the use of corn for ethanol. So, guess who pays for the increase?
Also, and this is a local observation, many farmers here have switched from soybeans and cotton to corn for ethanol. Guess what that does to soy products and cotton products?
And if they weren’t planting every available acre of land with crude corn, they could be letting acreage go fallow (a good thing), rotating crops (a good thing to keep the soil from being destroyed) and raising other crops, such as soybeans, wheat, oats, etc., which are in fact used to feed people. Corn based ethanol is the least efficient and most damaging way to produce ethanol.
My error, I should have specified which color of corn:
The use of ethanol for fuel has had a damaging impact on food markets, especially in poorer countries. In the United States, ethanol is mostly made from yellow corn, and as the market boomed for alternative fuel, yellow corn went up in price. Many farmers saw the potential to make more money, and switched from white corn to yellow corn. White corn is the main ingredient of tortillas in Mexico, and as the supply dropped, the price doubled, making the base of most Mexican foods unaffordable. Many people see this as unacceptable, and want no overlap between food crops and fuel crops. Others point out that the earth is thought to be able to support double the current human population, and press that the resources available, such as unused farmable land, should be better handled.
The Renewable Fuels Association confirm ethanol production does in fact increase the price of corn by increasing demand. It is cited as a positive economic effect for US farmers and tax payers, but does not elaborate on the effect for other populations where field corn is part of the staple diet. By increasing the demand for corn, and thus raising corn prices, ethanol helps to lower federal farm program costs. In a January 2007 statement, the USDA Chief Economist stated that farm program payments were expected to be reduced by some $6 billion due to the higher value of a bushel of corn.”
Corn production in 2009 reached over 13.2 billion bushels, and a per acre yield jumped to over 165 bushels per acre.”
You’re right about yellow field corn and livestock feed, either by wet or dry milling:
“lain about the US e”
Did you mean to say something else in your original post, which I can’t understand?
They switched from white, human-edible corn to yellow field corn.
I just purchased from Dealer a used 2012 car that will accept E10 and E15. I don’t like the ethanol gas and so I asked the head of the service dept if I could use the pure gas in my new car. “Huh? I wouldn’t. Not a good idea” he said. I did more research and found out that any gas engine can use pure gas.
White corn has always been a tiny niche market in US corn production. Less than 1%. And I’ll wager more is produced now than ever.
We have several stations here in south-central PA which sell ethanol-free gas; some even sell leaded av-gas (130oct) for the 60s/70s muscle cars. The lines waiting to get it at those stations, are amazingly long.
Hake’s Grocery/Gas in Dover, is 15miles from me, in York.
50-60% of the field corn around here was shipped overseas, from the 60s to late-80s, until this ethanol boondoggle got big and they got a bonanza payday, per bushel, for ethanol production here. Not much going overseas now. Soybeans still mostly go overseas. Two plantings of each crop, each season.
-——a large oversupply of high-priced ethanol that has nowhere to go.——
How about drinking it?
I think Briggs & Stratton and anyone else that manufactures small engines should have a big sticker on the fuel tank warning the buyer about gasoline with ethanol. When I figured out why my mowers ran so badly I have used nothing but ethanol-free including in my vehicles.
There's a web site listing all the ethanol-free stations in the U.S. and Canada:
100% not from the Taliban
Yeah, down here in the Southern Tier, the farmers are all selling off their dairy herds and switching to corn, too. On the one hand, it does cut down on government milk payola, but, then, corn for ethanol is just another form of payola.
It's a rational economic decision on the farmers' part, but, oh, the unintended consequences.
DAMN the EPA to oblivion...their time passed before they were created. Castrate this deranged, power-grubbing, un-Constitutional agency.
“An excess of ethanol...”
Everclear comes to mind...make everyone in the executive branch and all agencies under its control consume one pint a day, neat. :)
The ethanol problem will soon go away and corn can become food again. Gasoline will again be gasoline...w/o the harmful effects of ethanol added.
. So, at e-85 (85% ethanol) you would get 25.5% less mileage.
BUT, when I crunch the numbers it is a 30% reduction. For some reason the auto computers are lying to us........
The increases in corn-based foodstuffs here, are obscene, for the past 3-4yrs.