Is e85 really that bad

03_01_TDI

Banned
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Location
Denmark
TDI
Na
:confused: here is some quotes I pulled from a few websites.

scientific evidence is mixed at best on whether ethanol really reduces pollution. Other studies indicate it takes more energy to create a gallon of ethanol than a gallon of ethanol produces. The ethanol industry has survived to date mainly on federal tax subsidies.
a state report shows that the federal rule requiring a minimum of 5.9 percent ethanol in California gasoline increases emissions. The California Air Resources Board report said it adds 70 tons a day of smog -- and cancer-forming hydrocarbons -- to the air in summer, \red{the equivalent of adding about 2 million cars to the road.}

Making ethanol from corn uses up to six times more energy than it produces because of all of the fossil fuel required, according to Tad Patzek, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. "It destroys an ecosystem that could sustain itself, but now cannot do so," he said.


I also found out that one company makes about 50% of all the e85. Do you think they pass out the $$$$$ for campaigns.
 

Cincy_Mike

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
TDI
Auto 2003 Jetta GLS TDI - Galactic Blue
This thread's in the wrong forum, but I'll say that ethanol is good. However, I suspect many of the current ethanol plants wont be feasible after cheap oil has run out. Granted, many advances are being made in this industry as well as bio and hydrogen. The winner hasn't been decided.
 
Last edited:

bioTDInBENZ

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2005
Location
So.San.Fran. Califaz
Yes wrong forum for this topic but my friend tried it in his flex fuel ford taurus. Fuel economy went from 28mpg hwy to 16mpg hwy:eek: Also performance dropped. I was in the car laughing up a storm because he was blabing on how his car is so cool that it can run on ethanol until he tryed it. Someone else on the mercedesshop forum had tried it in a chevy truck that was E85 compatable and said he dropped to 8mpg hwy and couldnt tow his boat either. Personally id stay away from E85 until car companys make vehicles that will have the same power and fuel economy as if it was running regular gasoline. Because so far E85 SUCKS!

And many say corn ethanol takes more energy to make then it produces.
 

n1das

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2002
Location
Nashua, NH, USA
TDI
2014 BMW 535xd ///M-Sport, 2012 BMW X5 Xdrive35d, former 3x TDI owner
bioTDInBENZ said:
Yes wrong forum for this topic but my friend tried it in his flex fuel ford taurus. Fuel economy went from 28mpg hwy to 16mpg hwy:eek: Also performance dropped. I was in the car laughing up a storm because he was blabing on how his car is so cool that it can run on ethanol until he tryed it. Someone else on the mercedesshop forum had tried it in a chevy truck that was E85 compatable and said he dropped to 8mpg hwy and couldnt tow his boat either. Personally id stay away from E85 until car companys make vehicles that will have the same power and fuel economy as if it was running regular gasoline. Because so far E85 SUCKS!

And many say corn ethanol takes more energy to make then it produces.
Yes, wrong forum. I think this thread should be moved to the TDI Fuel Economy forum.

I agree, ethanol and E85 is gonna suck for gassers, even those that are "flex fuel" capable. Wasn't something like this called "Gasohol" tried back in the 70's? I was a teenager back then and I recall it quickly died away. I remember more diesels from the 70's than anything to do with Gasohol back then. As more gas guzzler drivers discover how bad E85 really is and how their cars guzzle much more of it, we'll be hearing about it a lot in the news. A perfect opportunity to help spread the TDI Gospel!

Does your friend know about you easily getting 50 MPG in your TDI and being able to go more than 700 miles between fillups? Watch for the priceless look on his face after you tell him. ;) :D

All this stuff makes me all the more glad I drive a TDI! :cool:
 
Last edited:

hank miller

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Location
Monticello, MN
TDI
'06 Jetta
Tad Patzek's study was NEVER creditable. Somehow he manages to get all the press, yet many others have studied ethanol, and only he (And is co-author David Pimentel) manages to come to the conclusion that it isn't energy positive. He uses numbers that reflect what farmers did in the past, not what they do now. http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2006/01/26_ethanol.shtml

Though I would note that cellouse ethanol shows more promise than corn in the long term. Bush's plan to make it competitive in 6 years is a little optimistic, but his job is to set aggressive schedules like that.

As for fuel economy, that depends on the design of the engine. E85 is about 105 octane, and an engine that takes advantage of that will get just as good fuel milage as it would on regular gas (though of course gas is lower octane, so the engine cannot be as aggressively tuned). SAAB claims their 9-5 biopower gets the same milage one gas or E85, but it gets 50 more horsepower on E85. (SAAB cranks up the boost when running E85, which accounts for the difference)

Most cars do loose fuel milage, but it depends, new flex-fuel cars do much better (though still not as good as gas, with the exception of SAAB) than older models.

I personally bought my TDI in part because I could not find a small car that used E85.

I think it is stupid to buy any new vehicle today that won't run either biodiesel (B100 preferably, though nobody approves that yet), or E100 (not E85, pure ethanol). Today bio fuels may or may not be competitive, but the industry is growing, do you really want to be buying petroleum based fuel when/if bio based fuels are cheaper at the pump? Most cars today will be on the road for 10 years or more, so that is a lot of time for the industries to mature. (Don't be surprised if taxes start hitting petroleum based fuels hard - governments to not like the places oil is imported from)
 

hank miller

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Location
Monticello, MN
TDI
'06 Jetta
n1das said:
Wasn't something like this called "Gasohol" tried back in the 70's? I was a teenager back then and I recall it quickly died away.
It never died. It didn't live up to the early hype (for various reasons, mostly the same reasons that biodiesel is a problem in older cars - incompatable fuel lines, and the stuff is a solvent that will clean out all the junk in your fuel system). However it is alive and well, all gas in MN has been E10 since 1997 (by law). If you are driving a gas car through Iowa you better put in the gasahol, some stations sell so little straight gas that the fuel starts to go bad in their tanks! Many other midwest states have a fairly large gasohol presence, though IA and MN are by far the largest.

Gasohol is also the replacement for MTBE, so many areas that didn't have it before will be getting it.

I agree that a diesel is a better option (except perhaps for pure sports cars, but pure sports cars are the ones that will benefit the most from high octane ethanol), but we have to deal with the world as it is, not as we would like it to be.

(Yeah, this thread needs to move)
 

bioTDInBENZ

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2005
Location
So.San.Fran. Califaz
I agree with you hank miller. I mean its not to say ethanol is a fuel that should never be used but car manufactures just have to make their vehicles have same power and fuel mileage as if they were on gasoline.

Reason i bought the benz's and mom bought the TDI was just for the enviroment and cost. WVO for the benz's are free and 70cents a gal for homebrew biodiesel is better the dirty and enviroment harming diesel sold at the pump.

Plus at 70cents/gal if anything was ever to break on the TDI we would have saved so much money on fuel that it wouldnt matter since we can afford to fix the problem.

biofuels are in its infancy stage right now just have to give it time to become bigger and better so VW will approve higher blends of biodiesel on their vehicles.
 

40X40

Experienced
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Location
Kansas City area, MO
TDI
2013 Passat SEL Premium
you guys confuse me.

quote car manufactures just have to make their vehicles have same power and fuel mileage as if they were on gasoline. endquote

BIOTDINBENZ

I have been laboring under the (mis)understanding that E100 has about
half the BTUs of RUG.
If a car gets the same mpg for RUG or E100 (or E85) that kinda sounds like
global warming science to me.

Ask your mom, I am sure she can help us out on this.
 

cptmox

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2001
Location
Villa Park, IL.
TDI
01 Jetta GLS, Silver 5-spd
I was always under the impression that E85 has a much higher octane rating than RUG. If the octane rating is 100+, then the car could run at a much higher compression level without knocking, pinging, or dieseling. But to maintain the flexible fuel capability, the compression level is kept lower, and that dooms the vehicle to worse MPG and power.
 

Ernie Rogers

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Location
Pleasant Grove, Utah
TDI
Beetle, 2003, silver
Ethanol is a perfectly good fuel, and environmentally okay. To get some perspective on the power of the oil companies in influencing public opinion, you might do a google search on < tad patzek chevron> and see what comes up.

The best available information on the energy balance of ethanol production is a paper by Farrell in Science, and it's available on-line at a Berkeley web site. Here is the reference:

http://rael.berkeley.edu/EBAMM

This is an excellent paper, but I think Farrell's conclusions on corn to ethanol are a little too pessimistic. I can provide details if you want.

Ernie Rogers
 

scurvy

Good Ol' Boy
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
Chicago IL USA
TDI
2006 Golf
E100 has an octane equivalence of about 115 - 130. If you're gonna take advantage of that signifigantly higher octane rating, you can up the compression ratio from roughly 9:1 to the neighborhood of 13:1 and gain a ton more power, so you use less of a fuel that only has 2/3rds the lower heating value of RUG, hence the same (or better) fuel economy from ethanol.

The problem is that most FFVs have a gasoline engine (lower compression ratio) that has its ECU put in more fuel with E85 to make up for the smaller volumetric power available. It would be smarter to have an engine with a higher compression ratio that varies the spark timing instead.

Do i think E85 is a good fuel? Abso-effing-loutely. It drastically reduces air pollution, is far less poisionous to groundwater, less volitile and supports local farmers. 10% of all the gasoline I've filled up with in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin & Indiana has been ethanol and it always ran fine in my 1995 Volvo 850. In fact, I used to put half E85/half E10 unleaded in and it ran cool, strong and fast on that mixture (10.5:1 compression ratio helped).

As an engineer, I spent a lot of time analyzing the assumptions ethanol studies made, and most of the ones I agreed with from an energy balance standpoint showed that ethanol is an overwhelming positive. Do I think it's utterly retarded that big stupid cars and SUVs are the only current FFVs? Yes. Do I think it's a fuel with a future? Absolutely.

scurvy
 

supton

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 25, 2004
Location
Central NH (USA)
TDI
'04 Jetta Wagon GLS
Side question: if ethanol has an octane level >100, and pumping up the compression helps make up for lost power, wouldn't the extra compression lead to more NOx? I forget now--do the three way cats that gassers use reduce NOx or not?

Also, what is the rough gallons per acre amount we are talking about, for corn based ethanol?

Ethanol is great, but how just how volatile is E85 at -20F? Up here in the Northeast, my understanding is that E100 isn't going to fire up at 0F or even 10F. Maybe if it's preheated (the fuel that is). LOL, the idea of a gasser with glowplugs!
 

cptmox

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2001
Location
Villa Park, IL.
TDI
01 Jetta GLS, Silver 5-spd
supton said:
Side question: if ethanol has an octane level >100, and pumping up the compression helps make up for lost power, wouldn't the extra compression lead to more NOx? I forget now--do the three way cats that gassers use reduce NOx or not?

Also, what is the rough gallons per acre amount we are talking about, for corn based ethanol?

Ethanol is great, but how just how volatile is E85 at -20F? Up here in the Northeast, my understanding is that E100 isn't going to fire up at 0F or even 10F. Maybe if it's preheated (the fuel that is). LOL, the idea of a gasser with glowplugs!
They sell E85 here in Chicagoland during all four seasons. No issues.
 

blacka5

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Location
Atlanta, GA
TDI
2006 Jetta 5M
supton said:
Side question: if ethanol has an octane level >100, and pumping up the compression helps make up for lost power, wouldn't the extra compression lead to more NOx? I forget now--do the three way cats that gassers use reduce NOx or not?
Yep. They use incompletely burned HC to reduce NOx to N2 and in the process oxidize the HC to CO2. Diesel runs in an excess of O2, and the exhaust has too little HC to do this effectively, hence the need for things like urea (a reduced nitrogen compound) injection.

BTW, the flash point for ethanol is ~13C. For gasoline it's something like -40, while for D2 its more like 52C.
 

hank miller

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Location
Monticello, MN
TDI
'06 Jetta
cptmox said:
They sell E85 here in Chicagoland during all four seasons. No issues.
Here in MN E85 is actually E70 in winter. The pumps all have fine print that says "minimum 70% ethanol".

Isn't a diesel impossible to start in winter because of fuel problems? Same type of thing, but engineers have been working on getting diesel working in winter for longer. (I have visions of a 'gas engine', with both spark plugs have glow plugs...) There are currently problems with biodiesel in high blends in winter. I'm optimistic that they can be solved (for both fuels), but that is just optimism on my part, only time will tell.
 

Strjock81

Active member
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Location
NE Illinois
TDI
VW Jetta, 2001, Black
Ethanol yield per acre

The national US average for corn yield per acre last year was 142 bushels corn per acre. A bushel of corn will produce 2.7-2.9 gallons of ethanol depending on extractable starch present in the corn kernel.

At an average of 2.8 gallons per bushel, that would give a yield of 397.6 gallons of E100 per acre. This would then be diluted to E85.

Many areas in IL, IN and IA produce over 200 bu/acre of corn per year which would be 560 gallons of E100 per acre.

Keep in mind that all the co-products that are created from making ethanol such as dried distillers grains can then be fed to livestock and is very high in protein.

Normally this corn is fed to livestock, but it can be used to make ethanol, then what is left over can STILL be fed to livestock.
 

03_01_TDI

Banned
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Location
Denmark
TDI
Na
and whats the effect of 200 bushels of corn per acre to the soil? how much fertlizer, pesticides, and farm tractors used?

Green fuel like E and Bio D are good solutions for today. But they will also soon be over used like dino fuel. In the long term green fuels are just keeping fuel price down. So ubran sprawl and SUV use can increase.

The average American driver currently spends the equivalent of 55 eight-hour workdays behind the wheel every year.

"Over a 20-year period, the 100 largest Urbanized Areas sprawled out over an additional 14,545 square miles. That was more than 9 million acres of natural habitats, farmland and other rural space that were covered over by the asphalt, buildings and sub-divisions of suburbia. And that was just for the half of Americans who live in those 100 cities."1970-1990

Thats 9 million acres that will never be used for farming, food, livestock, bioD, or Ethanol.

Those 9 million acres could have netted how many gallons of ethonal or bioD?

I would like to see the numbers of sprawl from 1990-2010? I'd bet another 9 million acres is gone.

 

scurvy

Good Ol' Boy
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
Chicago IL USA
TDI
2006 Golf
03_01_TDI said:
and whats the effect of 200 bushels of corn per acre to the soil? how much fertlizer, pesticides, and farm tractors used?
The energy inputs to the fertilizer, tractors and transportation have been accounted for in all the ethanol studies I've read. The effect on the soil would be the same regardless if it's field corn for livestock feed, sweet corn for human consumption or either used in ethanol production.

A lot of research is going in to using enzymes to break down the unused part of the corn plant - corn stover - to produce ethanol. This technology can also be used to produce ethanol from woodchips, some grasses, waste paper, etc. Current ethanol production uses the corn kernel only. As Strjock81 pointed out, the byproducts can still be used for animal feed and many other uses.

In the long term green fuels are just keeping fuel price down. So ubran sprawl and SUV use can increase.
...
I would like to see the numbers of sprawl from 1990-2010? I'd bet another 9 million acres is gone.
In the long term, green fuels can drastically reduce our dependance on oil and help curb greenhouse gas emissions, period. I would certainly like to see vehicle taxes computed yearly on a sliding scale, based on real vehicle MPG per person, annual distance traveled, etc, so that somebody with a H2 shuttling their kids around in the suburbs or commuting 50 miles to work would end up spending many thousands of dollars more per year.

Urban sprawl is certainly a concern, but is out of the scope of this discussion - it's a zoning/planning/government issue, not an ethanol-specific issue. We need that farmland to produce food, too.

scurvy
 

PDJetta

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 6, 2003
Location
Northern Virginia
TDI
'04 Jetta GLS TDI Pumpe Duce Platinum Grey w/ Leather
I recently read an article that said all cars manufactured since the mid 1980s will run just fine on E85. I sure don't thing my Jetta TDI would run well on it:rolleyes:

Just another case of the ill informed!

-Nate
 

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
... None :S
Well, I don't think all gas engined cars made from the mid 80's on can run on E85. I think the owner's manual in dad's 1.8T Passat warns against using E85. As I understand it, if ya wanna run E85, it has to say it's safe to do so on the fuel door (like it does on our Caravan)

-Jason
 

scurvy

Good Ol' Boy
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
Chicago IL USA
TDI
2006 Golf
PDJetta said:
I recently read an article that said all cars manufactured since the mid 1980s will run just fine on E85.
I seriously doubt it. E85's operating characteristics make it a poor choice for use in an engine tuned for 87 octane unleaded, and low-test will ping like mad in an engine tuned for E85. The big 2.5 made quite a few FFVs that could run on either, but the majority of those were for fleet use.

scurvy
 

RAST

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Location
Chicago
TDI
2012 Audi A3 TDI
hank miller said:
Here in MN E85 is actually E70 in winter. The pumps all have fine print that says "minimum 70% ethanol".

Isn't a diesel impossible to start in winter because of fuel problems? Same type of thing, but engineers have been working on getting diesel working in winter for longer. (I have visions of a 'gas engine', with both spark plugs have glow plugs...) There are currently problems with biodiesel in high blends in winter. I'm optimistic that they can be solved (for both fuels), but that is just optimism on my part, only time will tell.
In Brazil, where E100 is quite common, the FF cars have a small gasoline tank that is engaged when the temperatures are low. Once the car warms up enough it switches over to E100.

Granted this requires 2 tanks and two fuels, but if it works in Brazil it could work here.
 

RAST

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Location
Chicago
TDI
2012 Audi A3 TDI
Beeble said:
Read an article about Brazil's use of ethanol from the New York Times here.

Their scientists calculate about 8:1 return on energy and expect to get it to 10:1.
It always cracks me up to hear that Ethanol has a negative energy return. If that's true then Brazil's oil imports should have gone up!!

Granted we use fossil fuels in the growing and fertilizing of corn, but we're already incurring those costs. Also it is not a requirement to use fossil fuels to grow corn. You could run Biodiesel in the tractors and use non-fossil fuel based fertilizer. :)
 

david_594

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 28, 2004
Location
Cheshire, CT
TDI
2000 Jetta GLS Silver
Its all vehicles since the 80's are required to be able to be run on E10, not E85. If you look at the maps of availability though you will see that you cant even get any E85 in new england. E10 is fairly readily available but you might not notice it except for small stickers on the pump mentioning it. During the gas hikes last fall a small chain of stations in W. Mass made the news because they had the cheapest fuel due to the fact that they were blending ethanol to get E10 when ethanol was cheaper than gas at the time.

I was running E10 in my 97 volvo 850 light turbo and it ran fine. Also ran fine in my 94 dodge caravan with no noticable difference in fuel economy.
 

mrGutWrench

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Location
Wallace, NC
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
RAST said:
It always cracks me up to hear that Ethanol has a negative energy return. If that's true then Brazil's oil imports should have gone up!!

Granted we use fossil fuels in the growing and fertilizing of corn, but we're already incurring those costs. Also it is not a requirement to use fossil fuels to grow corn. You could run Biodiesel in the tractors and use non-fossil fuel based fertilizer. :)
__. Yeah but where does the energy come from to make the biodiesel and WTFEver "non fossil fuel based fertilizer" is? And Brazil estimates that they get about 5-8 times the efficiency of corn-ethanol with sugar-cane based ethanol.

__. My guess is that there's *some* advantage to using corn-based E85 but it's not enough of an advantage to make a major improvement. Is a *minor* improvement worthwhile? Well, maybe, but that's a policy decision and like most of them, it will probably be more favorable to whomever has the most money in the political process and not to society in general.
'
 

RAST

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Location
Chicago
TDI
2012 Audi A3 TDI
mrGutWrench said:
__. Yeah but where does the energy come from to make the biodiesel and WTFEver "non fossil fuel based fertilizer" is? And Brazil estimates that they get about 5-8 times the efficiency of corn-ethanol with sugar-cane based ethanol.
Today natural gas is used, but any hydrogen source should work. Also, I don't see what the huge harm is for using oil in the production of fertilizer. That and making plastics is a great usage for petroleum. We don't import 100% of our oil and our domestic production is way more than enough to cover the fertilizer usage. If that were all we used petroleum for we'd run out some time in the year 8,000 or so :)


__. My guess is that there's *some* advantage to using corn-based E85 but it's not enough of an advantage to make a major improvement. Is a *minor* improvement worthwhile? Well, maybe, but that's a policy decision and like most of them, it will probably be more favorable to whomever has the most money in the political process and not to society in general.
'
You're probably right there - and that's true of anything we do in society. I don't think that's a reason not to do something though. But that does bring up the issue of an energy policy. We need one, and one that's not written by the energy companies. We need a policy that has an end state in mind. All we're talking about is a minor change - one we need to do but it's not the end. But that's another rant entirely...
 

ThatRickGuy

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
Madison, WI
TDI
'06 Golf
This site breaks down the comparison of Ethanol to Bio Diesel quite well: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/ethanol/balance.html

Their numbers are based off of BTUs however, not actual diven mileage. And are for Corn ethanol, which is not the most efficient way to make ethanol. But they place the total life cycle of energy of ethanol to fuel at 1:1.34 (ever 1 BTU of fossil fuel put into making the fuel, you gain 1.34 BTUs worth of fuel). Not bad, but when compared to Bio-Diesel at 1:3.20 (a 220% return), it isn't nearly as efficient.

Lets look at some of the other issues though. With all non-flex fuel engines you are going to hit limitations on how much ethanol you can mix. The mid west has been running E10 for quite a while with out much for problems, but I doubt E85 would make a non-FFV happy. Compared to Diesel where almost all of them can be feed B100 with only minor challenges (clogged fuel filters and older ruber fuel lines).

In order to take advantage of the higher octane of Ethanol you're also looking at having to raise compression ratios pretty heavily. Which is do-able, but will take time (likely years) for research and testing before
a new bread of engines are released. Again, compared to BD engines, which are currently available.

There are other concerns I have with Ethanol, primarly its stability. Diesel has that added benefit of not being quite so explosive. ;) And with emissions, but I'm no expert in either of those fields.

I don't think our future fuel situation is something that will be solved with one thing or another. I think the only possible solution is one thing AND another. So is E85 as good as BioDiesel? At this point, no. But that doesn't mean E85 is a bad idea. Just like plug-in electric and Hydrogen are good ideas, but currently not as effective as other current options. At some point down the road there will be a wide variety of fuels. When you hit the gas station, you'll use gas, diesel, ethanol, bioD, induction coil, hydrogen tank, or hydrogen compound to fill your tank up depending on what vehicle you are driving :)

-Rick
 

Duck0987

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2004
Location
Marietta, OH
TDI
Jetta '03 Silver
03_01_TDI said:
:confused: hOther studies indicate it takes more energy to create a gallon of ethanol than a gallon of ethanol produces.
Entropy at work, it always takes more energy to go from disordered (corn) to a more ordered state (ethanol). The other major problem is if you look at what combustion actually does it is combining Hydrogen and Carbon with oxygen in order to produce heat, ethanol is already "partially combusted" since it contains oxygen already, so you are going to get less power from its combustion than you would from a regular gasoline. This also explain why biodiesel has less BTU than diesel, but the single oxygen on the biodiesel makes up far less of its total mass than it would in ethanol. So the drop in BTU of E85 vs. petrol will be much more extreme, hence the major MPG hit.

If we truly wanted to push E85 and produce it more efficiently we would buy more concentrated sugar starter than what corn contains. If you are producing sugar you start with sugarcane or sugarbeets, not corn, they are better sources of sugar and would be much more efficient to produce EtOH, as has been said the reason most US bio fuels are made from Soy and Corn is because of Gov't funding, not because they are the most efficient starting materials.
 

40X40

Experienced
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Location
Kansas City area, MO
TDI
2013 Passat SEL Premium
The reason biofuels on the US are made primarily from corn and soybeans
is very simple.
Thousands of farmers have the experience and expensive equipement
to raise these crops, But not the crops you named.
Corn and soy are raised all over the midwest very efficiently.
Cane is relatively rare in the mainland US. It does better near the tropics?
Sugar beet is raised in Nebraska and I'm sure elsewhere.
It takes an entirely different infrastructure to raise YOUR IDEAL bio sources. Who would finance the changeover? How long would it take?
One generation, or more?
Anyway, the US is set up right now to grow massive amounts of corn and
soy, so much that the price is depressed.
Later
Bill
 
Top