Monday, June 02, 2008

According to Cornell Scientist David Pimentel, turning corn into fuel is most costly in terms of resources than it is worth. He is quotes in this article as saying "Abusing our precious croplands to grow corn for an energy-inefficient process that yields low-grade automobile fuel amounts to unsustainable, subsidized food burning."

Here are a few of the facts:
  • One acre can produce enough corn to make 328 gallons of ethanol. The gas used to produce this corn before being converted is about 140 gallons. At prices at the time of his analysis, the cost per gallon of ethanol (still in the raw form of corn) would already be $1.05.
  • In processing, 131,000 Btu are needed to produce one gallon of ethanol. The energy value of one gallon of ethonal stands at only 77,000 Btu. Result: negative Btu's.
  • For the average car to travel 10,000 miles in a given year using ethanol, 11 acres of corn must be harvested.
  • For every car in America to use ethanol for a year, 97% of our land must be used to grown corn.

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