Ethanol: Blessing or bane?
That’s the title of a great piece from the Chicago Tribune by Greg Burns that appears in the Sun Herald.com on line.
The article brings up the typical pitfalls and possible hiccups in the Ethanol boom…but doesn’t really discuss as much of the "blessing" portion in my opinion. Readers of this blog and Ethanol Alley (soon to be consolidated here), know that I often write about the more important mental paradigm shift from U.S. thinking that we could use biofuels to become relatively oil independent…to we must become so..and how can we become a global leader in biofuel technologies.
Here are some key quotes from the article:
On the surface, ethanol plants look simple. They’re basically oversized
stills, producing alcohol from corn mash. Grain is ground, mixed with
water and yeast, fermented and distilled, just like the moonshine of
yore. The alcohol gets blended with gasoline, and the leftover corn
mash is fed to cattle.
Since ethanol plants must operate continuously, their operators will
"bid whatever it takes to get the corn," Baumel notes. "It’s like
chickens. They’ve got to be fed every day."
Many of the hungry new players in the ethanol game look a lot
different from the agribusiness giant that overwhelmingly dominated in