Thursday, February 28, 2008

Water and Ethanol

There has been a lot of attention brought out in the media recently bringing attention to the troubles in making biofuels – in particular corn based ethanol. There are concerns about the energy intensity of ethanol and questions of how green the production of ethanol is. Using corn based ethanol is also driving the price of corn up. Additionally, producing corn based ethanol requires a lot of water despite technology improvements in plant efficiency over the last 10 years. An article in the Economist – Ethanol and Water Don’t Mix discusses how ethanol plants are being built and then requesting insane amounts of water. The Florida plant discussed in the article requested 400 million gallons per day. Citizens in other states are also stepping out against ethanol plants being built. I hope this starts to get noticed by our politicians, and they realize this does not make any sense! Ethanol is already driving up the cost of food, what next? I don’t want to see the cost of water and availability of water increase because we’re making bad energy choices.

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