Sunday , July 21 2019
Home / EconLog Library / The Chemistry of Ethanol

The Chemistry of Ethanol

Summary:
As you know if you’ve followed ethanol in the last decade, the federal government requires a certain amount of ethanol in gasoline.Glen Whitman, a friend on Facebook, posted the following and gave me permission to post on EconLog. · It takes more energy to make ethanol from corn than you get from the ethanol. · Corn requires a whole lot of fertilizer, and the runoff goes into the Mississippi River and runs down to the Gulf of Mexico, where it creates a dead zone the size of New Jersey. · A gallon of ethanol has only about 2/3 the energy of a gallon of gasoline; hence, your miles per gallon will decrease if you use gasoline containing ethanol. · Making corn into ethanol for our cars is tantamount to burning our food, and it is driving up the cost of the food left to eat. Corn is a staple

Topics:
David Henderson considers the following as important: , , ,

This could be interesting, too:

Scott Sumner writes Political issues of the 2020s

Don Boudreaux writes Some Links

Scott Sumner writes Good intentions are not enough

Scott Sumner writes An epic example of wealth destruction

As you know if you’ve followed ethanol in the last decade, the federal government requires a certain amount of ethanol in gasoline.

Glen Whitman, a friend on Facebook, posted the following and gave me permission to post on EconLog.

· It takes more energy to make ethanol from corn than you get from the ethanol.

· Corn requires a whole lot of fertilizer, and the runoff goes into the Mississippi River and runs down to the Gulf of Mexico, where it creates a dead zone the size of New Jersey.

· A gallon of ethanol has only about 2/3 the energy of a gallon of gasoline; hence, your miles per gallon will decrease if you use gasoline containing ethanol.

· Making corn into ethanol for our cars is tantamount to burning our food, and it is driving up the cost of the food left to eat. Corn is a staple food for hogs, cattle, sheep, and chickens, so the cost of all meat and poultry are going up, along with the cost of corn itself.

· Ethanol loves water and soaks it up from its environment, so it can’t be shipped in long-distance pipelines with gasoline, because the water will corrode the piping and pumping machinery. The ethanol will dry out pump seals. Consequently, it has to be transported in trucks at a higher cost and mixed with the gasoline near the end-use consumer market.

· The only good reason for making corn into ethanol is for whiskey.

David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *