Episode-15- The Lies of Ethanol and Biofuel

Note - There is an error in today’s podcast. When I stated that it took 400 pounds of corn to make a gallon of ethanol that was a mistake. What I meant to say was 400 pounds of corn to produce 25 gallons or one tank of gas.

Today we will start off with a quick look at two financial stories that are being spun as “positive”.

First we will look at the decision by the Federal Reserve to bail out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and how once again the M3 Money supply will be inflated further devaluing the dollar.

Second a few quick comments on the decision by InBev (a Belgium company) to buy Anheuser-Busch for 52 Billion Dollars. Let’s ask if this is just one of the first examples of the weak dollar resulting in foreign take overs of profitable American companies.

Moving on to the main topic of todays show we will cover a major hot topic in the energy sector, the production of Corn Based ethanol. We will discuss some of the chief problems with ethanol such as..

  • Ethanol can’t be pumped in pipelines
  • You loose energy in ethanol production
  • It would take 97% of U.S. land to fully provide for our annual fuel consumption
  • Corn is resource intensive
  • The escalation pricing in the global food market
  • It takes 11 acres of land to produce enough corn for one average American vehicle

Resources for this Podcast

6 Responses to Episode-15- The Lies of Ethanol and Biofuel

  1. I vary good article and one to think on. The best biofuels are the ones being developed with POND SCUM as the source for the oil. Just grow it in verticle water gardens, flusg-strain it, then start again. Also there are fuels being developed that will take waste wood (and other waste pulp matter) and make fuel from that with the right microbes. Wish we could get an energy system (like compressed air?) that could store and release a lot of energy, and maybe even regernate on the trip.

  2. Modern Survival

    Pond Scum huh? That is a new one on me and I love that idea. That makes sense, take something that grows anyway, has no practical use and develop a way to use it!

  3. There are web sites/forums for amateurs experimenting with making biodiesel from pond scum.
    Since you drive a tDI, have you thought about converting it to using waste vegetable oil or making your own BioDiesel?

  4. Modern Survival

    @SteveO,

    Well the real beauty is that you don’t have to “convert” anything. You can dump vegetable oil directly into any common diesel motor and fire it up and drive away. Of course my 100K warranty would be null and void on the spot.

    In fact the conversion from waste oil to bio-diesel is really just filtering it to get all the crud out, (which you MUST do or you will really do in your motor in a BAD BAD WAY) then adding a few chemicals that prevent the oil from turning solid or gumming up if it gets too cold. Have you even seen what happens to corn oil if you put it in the fridge?

    You would be amazed how many substances one could just dump into any standard diesel and just drive away with.

  5. Hello Jack,
    I have a 84 VW Jetta Diesel that I run BioDiesel in. I use BioDiesel right now because:
    -the BioDiesel is made from recycled restaurant grease
    -I am trying to re-learn car maintenance and I need to get the car mechanically sound and learn how it works
    -I want to switch to WVO in the future. That way, I can have a car that can burn 3 types of fuelsl, WVO, BioDesel, and petro-diesel.

  6. We run both our company cars on filtered waste veg oil collected from restaurants, I have been from London to Croatia in them 3 times now and we use them daily, I don’t think its a perfect solution for everyone to switch but on a small scale it makes total sense. Not sure I can post links but all details can be found in my blog if you google carbon neutral car.