Recent legislation by the Congress of the United States has created a mandate for 5 billion gallons of renewable fuel (notably ethanol) to be consumed annually by 2015. In light of this recent push for alternative fuels, many different biomass solutions have been considered to meet the energy need for the 200 million cars on the road. While the most efficient bio-fuels are derived from palm oil and sugarcane, the Unites States has begun to focus on the more regional corn crops to produce new renewable fuels. This program appears to have great potential towards achieving a sustainable future devoid of foreign oil dependence, until the economic implications of large-scale ethanol production are considered. With that said, it’s important for the United States Government to understand the relative inefficiency, environmental, and social cost of large-scale ethanol production in the US.
Ethanol is a fuel grade form of alcohol that is produced from grain fermentation to create a clean, burnable oil alternative (Heinberg, 171). On a small scale, ethanol production appears to be a practical form of energy for farmers, but is limited by its lack of production facilities and unfavorable energy returned on energy invested. Ethanol has an extremely variable EROEI according to several net energy analyses. Cornell professor David Pimentel found a 29% net loss of energy after conducting two independent tests. Both studies found that, “the fuel cost more energy to produce than it eventually delivered to society.” (Heinberg, 173) While this study painted a negative picture for ethanol production, a USDA researcher recognized as much as a 77% energy profit; although, a ...
... middle of paper ...
... farmers needs.
Evans, Michael K. The Economic Impact of the Demand for Ethanol. Chicago, IL: Diane Co., 1997. 2 Apr. 2007
Hebert, Joseph H. "Study: Ethanol Won'T Solve Energy Problems." USA Today. 10 July 2006. 2 Apr. 2007
Hirsch, Tim. "Brazilian Biofuels' Pulling Power." BBC. 8 Mar. 2007. 2 Apr. 2007
Pica, Erich. "Power Politics: Linking Congress, Campaign Contributions and Energy Policy." Friends of the Earth 6 (2003): 1-2. 2 Apr. 2007.
Segelken, Roger. "Ethanol." Health and Energy. 2 Apr. 2007
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Harvesting renewable energy sources has become an increasing demand to meet the global energy consumption. Hydrogen is an ideal renewable energy source that can be stored, transportable, and convertible to electricity using fuel cells as clean energy source without producing CO2. A key challenge, however, is to produce cost-effective and environmentally friendly renewable hydrogen for a large scale. To this end, many researchers are developing advanced process to produce hydrogen from a sustainable resource.... [tags: Solar cell, Renewable energy, Fossil fuel]
1046 words (3 pages)
- As the world’s population continues to grow exponentially, the area of arable farmland shrinks. As a result, new techniques in agriculture have been developed in order to produce more food using less land. Many of these techniques are considered innovative but come at the cost of the environment or human morality. One example, the large-scale use of antibiotics in livestock feeding, has become a staple of the American agriculture industry. Of all the agricultural advancements the industry has made since the days of the horse and plow, none has been as threatening to human health as the use of sub therapeutic levels of antibiotics (Schneider).... [tags: Antibiotic Resistance, Superbugs]
3100 words (8.9 pages)
- Till today rice, wheat, and corn, do not form the staple food for the vast majority of Papua New Guineans. Their carbohydrate needs are still fulfilled by sweet potato, taro, yams, sago and bananas. Agriculture began in Papua New Guinea (PNG) about 10,000 years ago as shown by archaeological research where starch was found on stone tools excavated in Kuk in western highlands. It suggested that taro was cultivated in Kuk at that time. A number of staple food crops such as banana, sago, taro, greater yam, highland and lowland pitpits etc.... [tags: rice, food crops, new guinea farmers]
1873 words (5.4 pages)
- The notion of a progress trap in not only in our past, it is relevant in the present. One example of this is the ‘farm-factory system’ we have created. I believe this system in a perfect example of a progress trap. Looking back at history there are numerous examples of civilizations collapsing due to over extrapolation of resources, this is very similar to our current trajectory. Natural resources are a finite commodity; they will eventually disappear if we are not careful and use them in a conservatory fashion.... [tags: Agriculture, World population, Food security, Term]
1017 words (2.9 pages)
How Robotics Expand The Range Of Production And Design Opportunities For Architects By Rising Potential For Greater Material Differentiation
- Made by robots is an Architectural Design publication were the research work done at ETH Zurich by Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler is shown. The main question of this publication is how can robotics expand the range of production and design opportunities for architects by rising the potential for greater material differentiation and complexity of form. The research done by this two people also has a greater final objective, which is what are the possibilities for applying robotics in the architecture industry at the large scale.... [tags: Construction, Architecture, Robot, Robotics]
825 words (2.4 pages)
- The Search for Large Extra Dimensions using Dijet Production from pp Collisions at 1.8 TeV Abstract The search for extra dimensions has been a topic of great interest and has been investigated with a variety of methods and techniques of analysis.[1,2,3,4] The existence of Large Extra Dimensions (LED) can be determined given that (at ~ Mew or greater) gravity and its mediator, the graviton (spin 2), can access these extra dimensional manifolds. Atwood has developed a model using hadron colliders and the cross-sections for a 2 T 2 hadronic dijet process. We propose to use this model and to make a best fit as well as to establish bounds using Ms, the Planck energy scale for when quan... [tags: Physics Papers]
2900 words (8.3 pages)
- 1.0 Research Background The term of plastic has attracted more attention in the literature for the past 100 years since the introduction of the first industrial plastic at the latter part of the 19th century. John Wesley Hyatt, an American, finally came upon the solution in year 1869 with celluloid which makes its debut in plastic industry (McCord, 1964). Ever since after, there have been several milestones in the history of material science as the invention of plastic has, arguably, touched more lives than any other technological breakthrough.... [tags: Environment, Fossil Fuels]
2422 words (6.9 pages)
- In today’s society, it’s nearly impossible to open a newspaper, fire up a computer, or hold a conversation that isn’t someway related to energy. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution over a century and a half ago, nothing has been more pivotal to mankind’s rise to power as the apex species of planet earth. Had our ancestors not discovered the potential of using million year old plant and animal remains to create combustible power, the world would look very different. There is no denying that energy production is one of, if not, the most important developments in human history.... [tags: Environment, Natural Gas]
1865 words (5.3 pages)
- The Potential Impact of Blogs on Communication The advent of weblogs as instruments of Web-based conversation shall surely increase the exchange of news-related and academic information; probably not to the extent that books or newspapers have, but certainly in an open and accessible way. Gradually as they gain in popularity, blogs shall transform the field of journalism from one of complacent reporting to a more competitive and less elitist industry. Motivated individuals, with the use of their personal blogs, shall weigh in on important and controversial topics related to politics and social issues.... [tags: Internet Online Communication Essays]
1424 words (4.1 pages)
- Wind Power Potential in Belize Wind power is one of the fastest growing renewable energy technologies in the world, with an annual growth rate of 30.7 percent (Flomenhoft, 2007). Its popularity stems from its renewable characteristics, emission free properties and the cheap electricity that it produces. Thus far, Belize has not harnessed the wind energy in the country which I believe is unfortunate. Approximately 50% of Belize?s electricity production is imported from Mexico (Launchpad consulting, 2003).... [tags: Environment Renewable Energy Essays Papers]
1116 words (3.2 pages)