America's ethanol boom is stalling, and the effects are starting to spread across a farm belt...


America's ethanol boom is stalling, and the effects are starting to spread across a farm belt that had grown accustomed to soaring growth, with ethanol plants closing in some towns. The industry is pinning its hopes on rapid adoption of E15, but no fuel stations sell it yet, and the auto and oil industries say the fuel could damage cars and leave customers with expensive repairs.
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Comments (7)
  • Larry Smith
    , contributor
    Comments (3180) | Send Message
     
    Ethanol going away would be a good thing. Does nothing for CO2 emissions and uses farmland that would be better used growing food for the growing world population.
    12 Jun 2012, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4598) | Send Message
     
    Ethanol won't go away. The question is whether where it is sourced from changes.
    12 Jun 2012, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • kwm3
    , contributor
    Comments (2454) | Send Message
     
    I want that junk out of my car. It is bad for engines (acknowledged by car manufacturers, and E15 would "significantly damage" engines according to Honda), it has reduced my fuel efficiency and it does not help the environment. It was a kickback to some asshole farm/corn lobby, under false pretenses of helping the environment....just like so much other legislation.
    12 Jun 2012, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4598) | Send Message
     
    You understand that the stuff it replaced was a permanent pollutant of the water supply and that ethanol is effectively alcohol? MTBF was nasty stuff. Ethanol is effectively harmless.

     

    As for "damage" this has to di with the fact that alcohol/ethanol is more corrosive to certain low quality plastics and other materials prevalent in cars before Ethanol replaced MTBF. If your car is a realtively late model unit you are fine.

     

    As for your 'fuel economy' ethanol has lower energy than gas and when it replaces gas you get a very slight reduction in your mpg but the payoff is your engine runs cleaner and effectively longer,
    12 Jun 2012, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • gerrytsai
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    The source will definitely change, second gen ethanol (ethanol made from non-starch plants) is considerably less expensive to produce than traditional gasoline. The enymes are available now to ramp production. You're seeing companies like CDXS and ABG SM break ground on second gen ethanol plants now. And I do wonder whether first gen plants can be converted, I suspect they can.

     

    Brazil is an interesting case study. Ethanol accounts for pproximately 18% of transportation fuel used there. In fact, ethanol was in such demand in Brazil that the gov't had to reduce the mandated ethanol mix from E25 to ~E20 in 2011.

     

    We'll see. Check out DYAI if you are interested in playing the enzyme angle in the ethanol trade, interesting story there.
    12 Jun 2012, 12:25 PM Reply Like
  • Nolesince87
    , contributor
    Comments (259) | Send Message
     
    Ethanol is bad for engines. If you want to drive the crap cars in Brazil then move. This stuff belongs in my vodka bottle, NOT my car.
    12 Jun 2012, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • GaltMachine
    , contributor
    Comments (2080) | Send Message
     
    "auto and oil industries say the fuel could damage cars and leave customers with expensive repairs."

     

    Obama Admin Stimulus Program.
    12 Jun 2012, 03:48 PM Reply Like
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