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Discussion Starter #1
Although the headline of this article is incorrect, there is good information:

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1) Different alternative fuels are going to work in different regions - ethanol will be plentiful in the midwest.

2) Ethanol's purpose is to reduce dependence on foreign oil, not see an enormous boost in efficiency and / or save a lot of money.

I am glad all these approaches are actually being tried out - it helps generate real numbers for comparison purposes.
 

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Some studies suggest that ethanol production from US corn takes more energy than it yields, others suggest it takes slightly less.

Best case scenario for the US is from a study that found that 1 joule of energy yields 1.34 joules worth of ethanol. Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, on the other hand, yields 8 joules of energy for every 1 joule spent on production. So it works out so much better for them.

Ethanol can work for the US, but it just doesn't work as well for us as it does for countries like Brazil. And I think we are placing too much emphasis on it as a viable, cheap, and efficient alternative fuel.
 

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Ethanol

The money wasted on inefficient ethanol production still stays in the US, at least. That possible benefit is offset by the negative impact on food costs. Corn syrup is used in everything. Eventually, there will come a bio-engineered plant that yields high sugar and grows on marginal land without petro chemical fertilizer. And the Bufffalo will return to roam....:)
 
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