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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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