How will Ethanol fuel benefit as its price is really no different than gasoline?

I see just as many cons to ethanol as pros.

there are no pros if this planet means anything to you
please read this to see some truths behind the atrocities on behalf of Ethanol

Global warming is a really destructive situation.
But not half as destructive right now ,as what the USA is planning.

They are insane intending to replace most of the indigenous Forrest's in the world ,with mono cultures for the production of Ethanol,

Non sustainable, chemically grown ,heavily irrigated (with water needed for communities)one specie Forrest's,that have only plagues of insects as fauna which are controlled with pesticides.

Killing all bio diversity,in both flora and fauna ,adding to the destruction and extinction of species ,like nothing we have ever seen before.

All in the quest for alternative energy and to save the Environment ,

The irony here is that the growing eagerness to slow climate change by using biofuels and planting millions of trees for carbon credits has resulted in new major causes of deforestation, say activists. And that is making climate change worse because deforestation puts far more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire world's fleet of cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships combined.

"Biofuels are rapidly becoming the main cause of deforestation in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil," said Simone Lovera, managing coordinator of the Global Forest Coalition, an environmental NGO based in Asunción, Paraguay. "We call it 'deforestation diesel'," Lovera told IPS.

Oil from African palm trees is considered to be one of the best and cheapest sources of biodiesel and energy companies are investing billions into acquiring or developing oil-palm plantations in developing countries. Vast tracts of forest in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and many other countries have been cleared to grow oil palms. Oil palm has become the world's number one fruit crop, well ahead of bananas.

Biodiesel offers many environmental benefits over diesel from petroleum, including reductions in air pollutants, but the enormous global thirst means millions more hectares could be converted into monocultures of oil palm. Getting accurate numbers on how much forest is being lost is very difficult.

The FAO's State of the World's Forests 2007 released last week reports that globally, net forest loss is 20,000 hectares per day -- equivalent to an area twice the size of Paris. However, that number includes plantation forests, which masks the actual extent of tropical deforestation, about 40,000 hectares (ha) per day, says Matti Palo, a forest economics expert who is affiliated with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica.

"The half a million ha per year deforestation of Mexico is covered by the increase of forests in the U.S., for example," Palo told IPS.

National governments provide all the statistics, and countries like Canada do not produce anything reliable, he said. Canada has claimed no net change in its forests for 15 years despite being the largest producer of pulp and paper. "Canada has a moral responsibility to tell the rest of the world what kind of changes have taken place there," he said.

Plantation forests are nothing like natural or native forests. More akin to a field of maize, plantation forests are hostile environments to nearly every animal, bird and even insects. Such forests have been shown to have a negative impact on the water cycle because non-native, fast-growing trees use high volumes of water. Pesticides are also commonly used to suppress competing growth from other plants and to prevent disease outbreaks, also impacting water quality.

Plantation forests also offer very few employment opportunities, resulting in a net loss of jobs. "Plantation forests are a tremendous disaster for biodiversity and local people," Lovera said. Even if farmland or savanna are only used for oil palm or other plantations, it often forces the local people off the land and into nearby forests, including national parks, which they clear to grow crops, pasture animals and collect firewood. That has been the pattern with pulp and timber plantation forests in much of the world, says Lovera.

Ethanol is other major biofuel, which is made from maize, sugar cane or other crops. As prices for biofuels climb, more land is cleared to grow the crops. U.S. farmers are switching from soy to maize to meet the ethanol demand. That is having a knock on effect of pushing up soy prices, which is driving the conversion of the Amazon rainforest into soy, she says. Meanwhile rich countries are starting to plant trees to offset their emissions of carbon dioxide, called carbon sequestration. Most of this planting is taking place in the South in the form of plantations, which are just the latest threat to existing forests. "Europe's carbon credit market could be disastrous," Lovera said.

The multi-billion-euro European carbon market does not permit the use of reforestation projects for carbon credits. But there has been a tremendous surge in private companies offering such credits for tree planting projects. Very little of this money goes to small land holders, she says. Plantation forests also contain much less carbon, notes Palo, citing a recent study that showed carbon content of plantation forests in some Asian tropical countries was only 45 percent of that in the respective natural forests. Nor has the world community been able to properly account for the value of the enormous volumes of carbon stored in existing forests.

One recent estimate found that the northern Boreal forest provided 250 billion dollars a year in ecosystem services such as absorbing carbon emissions from the atmosphere and cleaning water. The good news is that deforestation, even in remote areas, is easily stopped. All it takes is access to some low-cost satellite imagery and governments that actually want to slow or halt deforestation. Costa Rica has nearly eliminated deforestation by making it illegal to convert forest into farmland, says Lovera.

Paraguay enacted similar laws in 2004, and then regularly checked satellite images of its forests, sending forestry officials and police to enforce the law where it was being violated. "Deforestation has been reduced by 85 percent in less than two years in the eastern part of the country," Lovera noted. The other part of the solution is to give control over forests to the local people. This community or model forest concept has proved to be sustainable in many parts of the world. India recently passed a bill returning the bulk of its forests back to local communities for management, she said.

However, economic interests pushing deforestation in countries like Brazil and Indonesia are so powerful, there may eventually be little natural forest left. "Governments are beginning to realize that their natural forests have enormous value left standing," Lovera said. "A moratorium or ban on deforestation is the only way to stop this."

This story is part of a series of features on sustainable development by IPS and IFEJ - International Federation of Environmental Journalists.
© 2007 IPS - Inter Press Service

Its a renewable resource that is made from crops grown in the USA. No OPEC. Does that help your understanding?
it is absurd. it defies the newtonian physics. just changing energy from one form to other requires energy. nuts. it is a stupid circle and only poor ignorant people will buy the millions they are spending on "public service announcements." brazil has a better system with sugar cane but they have the tropical climate to make it faar more efficient than corn. the midlands group and others are doing a big con on everybody. maybe michael moore will find time to expose this bs.
I don't see Ethanol as being very economical. It cost just as much or more than gas, and it takes alot of energy resources to produce, and refine it. The energy used to produce Ethanol, will be polluting the air just as much as burning fossil fuel.
Requiring ethanol is only going to increase the hunger problem. Farmers getting more money for fuel corn than food or feed corn. Ranchers paying more for feed, meat prices go up, world hunger increases.
It takes more energy to create ethanol than you get back by burning ethanol. the minimal effects of cars burning ethanol have already entered the atmosphere while processing it.
Well, basically it depends on the type of ethanol we create. Ethanol (because it takes energy to produce ethanol, just like it takes energy to produce gasoline from oil) really needs to come from efficient sources. Ethanol from corn will only lower the GHG emissions by 13% whereas hemp and sugarcane lower it up to 95%.

I think most ethanol is now made by corn (which from an environmental and atmospheric standpoint has it's own issues such as increasing the humidity of the local growing area and taking up fertile land that should be used for products that humans or animals can eat).

Also, ethanol 85 and 12 will always be less efficient fuels than gasoline. But studies show that even with the decreased efficiency, ethanol IF produced with sugarcane or hemp will still create far fewer greenhouse gases.

My personal opinion is SKIP ethanol altogether. Why are we still focusing on combustion type engines when hydrogen fuel is such a promising area? I mean using ethanol is like boiling water by first putting it in the sun. Sure the water will get warmer without using as much energy, but how long is it going to take to boil that water? Ethanol is the same. Sure it COULD be better IF it's produced with sugarcane or hemp, but if we focus so much attention on it, it will take forever to reach the next step!
In Michigan we had 10% ethanol for decades, and its sold at Clark's gas stations. Its usually a penny cheaper and runs hotter on your engine
It won't really. There's a huge gap from waste to product in the production of ethanol. First of all, it takes about 100 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol. Second, growing the corn that produces ethanol puts an enormous strain on the soil from which it grows. It seems as if a company like Monsanto can benefit greatly from the production of ethanol because they can genetically modify corn to produce enormous amounts of corn to produce ethanol, however, genetically modified organisms (GMO's) have a lot more cons than pros, and can somtimes result in toxic contamination of the soil, or the GMO's can infect corn grown for consumption; this happened in Canada with wheat and Monsanto sued the farmer, for copywrite infringment, who was unknowingly growing the genetically modified wheat in his field. Such a strain on the Earth can severly modify the land, and poison the water table underneath the soil.

To me ethanol just switches the problem from fossil fuels to corn. It also suggests that people need a company to provide fuel for them when in fact people, individual people, can produce their own energy with solar panels and wind turbines, just to name a few alternatives.
You're thinking ethanol from corn. But the technology exists to produce ethanol from switchgrass for about $1.65 per gallon. In fact, by buying an acre of land and dedicating it to fuelling your car, you can produce about 1200 gallons per year.

Unfortunately, Congress, in its infinite wisdom, has made conversion of older vehicles to ethanol illegal. If this angers you, as it should, please read my blog for today and copy and paste it to your local congressperson. Maybe we can make them change their minds.
The idea behind adding ethanol to gasoline has nothing to do with price.
Since the MTBE additive is going out another oxidant was needed to add to gasoline.
Adding ethanol has environmental benefits as well.
The main by products of burning either gasoline or ethanol are water and carbon dioxide.
However there are no other by products for ethanol, whereas gasoline has several other severe pollution components.
When corn (or any plant) grows it takes carbon dioxide OUT of the air. Then we make ethanol out of it and burn it, thus putting the carbon dioxide BACK into the air where it came from. This is called a net zero gain for carbon dioxide.
Burning gasoline only ADDS carbon dioxide to the air.
There are other pros and cons, but these are the ones I wanted to cover.

Good question, looks like you struck a nerve!
I don't see ethanol fuel as being helpful. All it is doing is helping big companies like Monsanto control the corn industry. Those guys are helping drive the demand for corn which is not good either because it is corn that will be used to make ethanol, not for human consumption. Besides, how is ethanol made? Doesn't it take a lot of industrial power to turn corn into ethanol? So which is healthier for the environment, the mass production of ethanol plus exhaust from our vehicles or regular gas we are using now? So I really do not see ethanol being helpful, I see as being rather harmful.
Lets think about this whole biofuel idea..
1) How much space does it take to grow enough maize/crop to power 1 car? Now.. how many cars are there in the world at the moment? How many more cars do you think will be in 10/20 years time?
2) A large proportion of the world is starving. How much space is required to feed these people? And in 10yrs time when our global population is... how big again?!?!?!?!

SO... Are we going to run our cars or feed the world?! Neither's realistic obviously... but the general idea does put things into perspective a little!

This is not to mention the expenses, resources and CO2 production which will go into replacing all the present cars in the world with biofual/electric/'environmenta... friendly' cars..

*sighs*... rant over
How is that people will argue that it takes fossil fuels to make a gallon of ethanol? Does making usable gasoline from crude oil not require any fossil fuels? In fact, shipping oil from the Middle East on a giant tanker to the Gulf of Mexico doesn't use any fuel does it? Get your head out of your ***.
Biofuels can be OK. But ethanol is a problem because of hte extremely high energy cost of distillation. They're burning 3/4 gallon worth of fossil fuel to make a gallon's worth of ethanol.

The ethanol producers are actually asking the regional power companies to build new COAL plants -- whoops!!

Biodiesel doesn't have that problem. Even with America's inefficient farming techniques, they get 3.2 gallons worth of biodiesel for every gallon worth of fossil used to grow and process it. SVO (straight veggie oil diesel) is even better. And these are with terrible biofuel crops like soy; there are MUCH better crops, including algae, which if it works as well as people hope, could provide all of America's energy needs easily.

No, humans won't starve because of biofuel production. The biofuels are being made from trash crops that aren't good enough for humans and are mainly used in animal feed. Meat ranchers are seeing their feed prices go up a lot! But then, the world could do with a few less Chicken McNuggets.

The answers post by the user, for information only, does not guarantee the right.

More Questions and Answers:
  • What is so important about ink jet cartridges that make them need to be recycled?
  • Why should very companies that have polluted the upper atmosphere now want to be rewarded?
  • Explain the term: global warming?
  • Is solar paint on the market yet?
  • Can I convert my old hybrid car to a plug in to get better mileage?
  • Answer this??
  • Goodbye to it...?
  • Why do people throw garbage out the car window...?
  • When will the pseudoscience of global warming fade away?