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      09-02-2012, 08:15 PM   #1
Crazylegs
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corn ethanol vs sugarcane ethanol

Quote:
Ethanol Production
Some yeasts break down sugars such as glucose using a process called ethanol fermentation. The microbe extracts energy from these reactions and releases ethanol as a byproduct. To produce ethanol from sugarcane, the sugar is extracted and used as a nutrient for the yeast. Corn, on the other hand, has plenty of starch. Starch molecules are essentially long chains of glucose units bonded together and the starches can be broken down to yield sugars that act as a feedstock for the yeast. The ethanol produced by the yeast must be distilled and dehydrated to remove water.

Ethanol Benefits
Dependence on fossil fuel makes importing countries dependent on exporting countries, making importers heavily reliant on other governments. Moreover, the world supply of crude oil is not limitless. By contrast, ethanol, whether from sugarcane or corn, is a renewable fuel produced from plants that remove CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow. It's also a cleaner-burning fuel than either coal or gasoline.

Energy Balance
Growing crops for fuel requires a substantial amount of land and resources. And in many cases, the land and resources might otherwise be dedicated to food production. The energy balance, or the ratio between the energy used to produce ethanol and the energy it generates, is especially critical because so many steps are involved in growing and harvesting crops and producing fuel. However, the energy balance is difficult to calculate and scientific studies often arrive at different results depending on their assumptions.

Efficiency
Because the end product is ultimately the same, the most important distinction between corn and sugarcane ethanol is the energy balance. The process for corn is a little different from the process for sugarcane. Cornstarch must be broken down into sugar before it's used as a feedstock. Both plants also have their own growing requirements and yield different amounts of feedstock per acre. These factors, along with the different climates where they are grown, mean that sugarcane and corn ethanol have a different energy balance. Estimates vary widely. One study in Natural Resources Research in 2005 found that corn ethanol used up to 29 percent more energy than it produced. Another study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006, found that corn ethanol yielded 25 percent more energy than the energy used to produce it. The most common conclusion at present--as cited in a 2007 National Geographic article--is that corn ethanol produces 1.3 times more energy than it consumes, while sugarcane ethanol produces eight times as much energy as it consumes during production.

Controversy
Corn ethanol has attracted critics because of its more unfavorable energy balance and the amount of land it requires. A 2006 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences notes that dedicating all of U.S. corn production to corn ethanol would replace 12 percent of U.S. gasoline consumption. Sugarcane ethanol clearly has a better energy balance than corn. Some critics, however, are concerned that the industry might contribute to deforestation in Brazil by clearing rainforest for sugarcane plantations. Despite its potential environmental effects, however, production of ethanol from sugarcane is more efficient than production from corn.
http://www.ehow.com/about_6571796_et...ugar-cane.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_5581320_make...ugar-cane.html
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      09-02-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
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Get a Pious, hippie !

...just kidding, the batteries on the Prius are an environmental catastrophe from the mining of the rare earths all the way through their disposal.
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      09-02-2012, 08:29 PM   #3
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In addition, corn is one of the most highly genetically modified organisms planted in the world, which has so many more environmental hazards involved: sprayed with massive amounts of pesticides and fungicides, increased water demands, and genetic contamination of surrounding farms.
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      09-02-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slidewayz View Post
Get a Pious, hippie !

...just kidding, the batteries on the Prius are an environmental catastrophe from the mining of the rare earths all the way through their disposal.
+1 - Most mined in china where, I imagine, regulations aren't as tight as here
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      09-02-2012, 08:39 PM   #5
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Corn plants run ethanol not as a primary product but as one of the outputs from the grinding of corn. Starch, gluten, fiber and germ are the products from corn production. You can either dry the starch and it is used for glue or you can convert the start into liquor which is the product used to produce ethanol from typical means be it corn or cane.
If you are only taking into account the production of ethanol from corn it will be use more energy but if it is part of the normal production it is much less energy hungry.

The biggest issue with ethanol is the delivery issue which so far cannot be transported by pipeline but is trucked which is not nearly as energy efficient as a pipeline...
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      09-03-2012, 04:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2drive View Post
Corn plants run ethanol not as a primary product but as one of the outputs from the grinding of corn. Starch, gluten, fiber and germ are the products from corn production. You can either dry the starch and it is used for glue or you can convert the start into liquor which is the product used to produce ethanol from typical means be it corn or cane.
If you are only taking into account the production of ethanol from corn it will be use more energy but if it is part of the normal production it is much less energy hungry.

The biggest issue with ethanol is the delivery issue which so far cannot be transported by pipeline but is trucked which is not nearly as energy efficient as a pipeline...
It's ironic that the transport of ethanol requires the uses of so much gasoline and/or diesel.
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      09-03-2012, 05:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesM3M5 View Post
In addition, corn is one of the most highly genetically modified organisms planted in the world, which has so many more environmental hazards involved: sprayed with massive amounts of pesticides and fungicides, increased water demands, and genetic contamination of surrounding farms.
+1, Soy and Corn, the two most overproduced and genetically modified plants on the Planet.

The best way to make a statement and get rid of all that GM corn is to put it in your gas tank and make it burn, baby, burn!
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      09-03-2012, 08:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slidewayz View Post
Get a Pious, hippie !

...just kidding, the batteries on the Prius are an environmental catastrophe from the mining of the rare earths all the way through their disposal.
Yet they still release LESS CO2 into the atmosphere
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      09-03-2012, 08:59 AM   #9
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      09-03-2012, 02:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiv@vishnu
Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2drive View Post
Corn plants run ethanol not as a primary product but as one of the outputs from the grinding of corn. Starch, gluten, fiber and germ are the products from corn production. You can either dry the starch and it is used for glue or you can convert the start into liquor which is the product used to produce ethanol from typical means be it corn or cane.
If you are only taking into account the production of ethanol from corn it will be use more energy but if it is part of the normal production it is much less energy hungry.

The biggest issue with ethanol is the delivery issue which so far cannot be transported by pipeline but is trucked which is not nearly as energy efficient as a pipeline...
It's ironic that the transport of ethanol requires the uses of so much gasoline and/or diesel.
Extracting raw fossil fuel from the ground, refining it and transporting across the ocean isn't exactly free of energy consumption.

Fortunately, ethanol production from corn is the tip of the iceberg. There are far more efficient sources for alternative fuels.
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      09-03-2012, 10:23 PM   #11
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Hemp fuel... Cali has more hemp than they can smoke, so make hemp based ethanol and stop the road rage...
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      09-04-2012, 12:18 AM   #12
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Hemp and marijuana are slightly different, I'm probably wrong here but I don't think there are many mass fields of hemp in calli an which will turn as much a profit for hemp fuel. Especially with the FED.

Although I'm guessing you weren't serious either
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