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Old April 3rd, 2011, 01:49 AM   #241
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50% of brazilians cars use ethanol as fuel, and 10% use natural gas. So, use of ethanol in large scale is viable in others countries too.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 05:46 PM   #242
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Proposal to remove ethanol labeling requirements at Nebraska gas pumps dies amid protests
15 April 2011

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A bill that would have repealed Nebraska's labeling law for ethanol-dispensing gas pumps has died.

Imperial Sen. Mark Christensen pulled his proposal Wednesday amid a surge of phone calls, letters and emails from Nebraskans who opposed the idea.

The bill would have eliminated the labeling requirement on any gas mixture that contains at least 1 percent ethanol.

Supporters say the current law promotes the false belief that ethanol can damage engines. They also argue that removing the labels would increase ethanol sales and the demand for Nebraska corn. Opponents say they want to know the kind of gas they're buying.

Nebraska is the nation's second-largest ethanol producer, behind Iowa, with 1.7 billion gallons in refining capacity. Its share accounts for 13 percent of the nation's capacity.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 04:44 PM   #243
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Report Shows High Corn Prices Will Limit Ethanol Use, Raise Costs
Thu May 5, 9:00 am ET
PRWeb

An Energy Policy Research Foundation, Inc. (EPRINC) report released on April 28, 2011 found that high and volatile corn prices will limit the success of a renewed push to expand access to ethanol via E15 and additional E85 fueling stations. The report also found that absent a mandate, blender's credit, and tariff protection ethanol would have a market of nearly 400,000 barrels per day, approximately half of today's consumption, which suggests that the real cost of the blender's credit is significantly higher than $0.45 per gallon. The study concludes that as the volumetric mandate takes ethanol blending past 10% of the gasoline pool, gasoline consumers and producers will face higher costs.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 05, 2011

The Energy Policy Research Foundation, Inc. (EPRINC) has released a report on the Renewable Fuels Standard, a government program that provide subsidies, tax incentives, and regulatory mandates to promote the use of corn ethanol and other renewable fuels into the national gasoline pool. The study concludes that one of the major obstacles to rapid increases of corn ethanol into the gasoline pool is the rising cost of ethanol's principal feedstock, corn. Corn prices have more than doubled over the past 10 months, an increase considerably greater than the rise in crude prices over the same period. Growing mandates for blending ethanol into the gasoline pool is likely to further increase prices at the pump. The report can be downloaded for free at http://eprinc.org/pdf/EPRINC-CornLimitsEthanol.pdf .

U.S. policy requiring ever-larger volumes of ethanol blended into the gasoline pool is now running into two distinct and important cost realities, both of which are likely to contribute to price increases in gasoline above the rising acquisition cost for crude now faced by domestic refineries. The first is the rapidly rising cost of corn. Disappointing U.S. corn yields, loss of wheat crops worldwide and increasing domestic and international demand for corn has pushed prices from $3.50/bushel to over $7.50/bushel since the summer of 2010, driving up ethanol prices to levels well above the cost of gasoline when adjusted on a GGE (gallon of gasoline equivalent) energy basis. Expanding access for ethanol in the gasoline pool will not solve the cost problem because it cannot provide a cost competitive alternative to E10, the type of gasoline used by most U.S. motorists.

The Congressional debate over the deficit has highlighted concerns over the cost of ethanol subsidies, now estimated at nearly $6 billion per year to encourage its blending into the gasoline pool. Ethanol also receives other government incentives such as loan and investment guarantees. Absent volumetric mandates and blending tax credits, the U.S. would consume approximately 400,000 bbls/day (barrels per day) of ethanol, half the amount of ethanol consumed today.

The RFS and related ethanol support (mandates, subsidies, and tariff protection) have resulted in some reduction in crude and gasoline imports. However, these reductions have come at a very high cost and substantially exceed any potential energy security benefits from reduced imports. EPRINC estimates that the full cost of the $0.45/gallon ethanol subsidy is closer to $0.90/gallon as the U.S. would consume ethanol at approximately half its current volume absent a mandate or blender’s credit. By this metric the real cost of the blender’s credit is $37.80 for every barrel of incrementally blended ethanol over a subsidy and mandate free base case. Adjusted for energy content, the blenders’ credit cost is $56.70 per barrel of gasoline equivalent – a premium of $1.35 for every gallon of gasoline offset by the RFS. Estimates by CBO (Congressional Budget Office) are in the same range.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) released a study in 2006 that estimated the cost to the U.S. economy of every barrel of imported oil. ORNL found that the cost of imported oil to the U.S. economy is $13.58/bbl (in 2004 $) in addition to the market price. This cost includes both a monopsony component, which is the estimated effect that the U.S has on world oil prices as the world’s largest consumer of crude oil, and a cost for macroeconomic disruptions to the U.S. economy. ORNL’s calculations do not include environmental or foreign policy costs. ORNL’s study has been used by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to provide justification for increasing corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards and by the EPA to promote the National Renewable Fuel Standards Program (RFS2).

In 2009 dollars, the incremental benefit of reducing oil imports by one barrel is worth $14.70 using the conclusions from ORNL. As stated previously, EPRINC calculates that the entire RFS program is reducing petroleum imports by approximately 400,000 bbls/d. Based on the ORNL study results and this estimate, the benefits of the RFS program in 2011 are not likely more than $2.5 billion. These benefits must be compared to the direct and indirect costs of the program. The blender's credit alone costs the federal government over $6 billion per year. In addition to these costs are the costs of grants, loan guarantees, loss of efficiencies in refinery and retail operations, and rising corn prices. These additional requirements further extend the costs of the program, but even without a precise calculation of these costs, the loss of tax payer revenue far exceeds the benefits from the program by nearly 3 to 1 under the most conservative assumptions.

About the Energy Policy Research Foundation, Inc.:
EPRINC researches and publishes reports on all aspects of the petroleum industry which are made available free of charge to all interested organizations and individuals. It also provides analysis for quotation and background information to the media.

http://www.eprinc.org
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Old August 21st, 2011, 04:47 PM   #244
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Food inflation in focus amid lofty crop price outlook
Mon, Jul 25, 2011

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Grain prices will likely remain elevated at the end of this year, a Reuters poll showed, providing little relief to food prices while continuing to challenge policymakers battling to tamp down inflation.

Many analysts say the era of cheap food may well be over as rising crop production struggles to keep pace with soaring global demand, particularly from the mushrooming middle-class populations of developing nations such as China and India.

But experts do not expect a repeat of the late-year grain market rallies of 2010 which ignited record food inflation that stirred popular unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, toppling governments in Egypt and Tunisia.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization's index of food prices hit a record peak in February, creating fears of a repeat of the 2007/08 global food crisis that prompted food riots and forced millions into hunger.

Governments have progressively taken steps to rein in soaring costs for staples that disproportionately impact the world's poor, including the systemic releases of state grain stocks in China and the construction of grain silos in India.

Much will hinge on weather in the U.S. Farm Belt this summer as near-perfect crop conditions are needed in the world's top grain exporter to soothe markets on edge over shrinking stockpiles of corn and soybeans and rapidly rising demand for food.

Debt problems in Europe and the United States will also play a role. If left unresolved, they could tip the world into another recession like the one that eroded grain prices beginning in late 2008.

CORN SEEN RISING

Prices of corn -- a cornerstone of the food chain that impacts the cost of meat, milk, and eggs -- are forecast to end 2011 at $6.89 per bushel, about 10 percent higher than a year earlier but short of June's all-time high of nearly $8.

At midmorning on Monday, spot corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down about 2 percent at $6.75 a bushel.

Strong demand from livestock and ethanol producers and concern over crop yields in the United States, the world's largest producer and exporter, would lead to the third consecutive annual increase in corn prices.

"I generally look for relatively high prices come year's end with no major harvest correction," said PFG Best analyst Tim Hannagan, referring to corn.

"All end-users of grain such as ethanol producers, feeders, food processors and exporters will be aggressive buyers at harvest time to ensure they have their share of inventory as insurance for expected tight stocks and strong demand in 2012," Hannagan said.

Soybeans, which are crushed to produce soymeal, also a livestock feed, and soyoil used for cooking and to make biodiesel fuel, were seen at $13.92 a bushel at the end of the year, near 2010's lofty close of $13.94.

Soyoil prices themselves were seen rising about 3 percent year-on-year at 59.73 cents per lb, according to the average analyst forecast.

Spot CBOT soybeans fell at midmorning on Monday to $13.55 a bushel while soyoil slid to 55.45 cents per lb, both down nearly 2 percent.

The wild card for corn and soy prices may be China, the world's top soybean importer and an emerging importer of corn, as policymakers there walk the line between red-hot economic growth and soaring inflation.

"Both corn and soybeans have potential to go substantially higher if Chinese growth stays on track to provide firm demand. However, it may take time for that demand to develop, especially because China has shown the ability to be patient and buy only at lower price levels," said Bryce Knorr, senior editor of Farm Futures Magazine.

Wheat, a food staple grown in nearly every country around the world, was forecast to ease to $7.53 a bushel, down about 5 percent from the prior year as global stocks rebound following a severe drought last year in key exporter Russia and neighboring countries.

But experts warned that wheat's downside may be limited as cattle, hog and poultry producers around the world increasingly use it as an alternative feed grain instead of costly corn.

Spot CBOT wheat futures fell about 2.5 percent on Monday to $6.73 per bushel.
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Old October 30th, 2011, 02:06 AM   #245
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I once went on a drop from Vriginia to the midwest and I only saw one ethonal only fuel pump on my 2000 mile trip and that was at where Interstate 65 meets US Route 30 around 60 miles from Chiacigo IL. I do own a flex fuel car which I think everyone should have in that you don't have to worry about it eating out your engines.

But the thing I have with it is that we have added our 7 billionith human on this planet and they say that Ethonal at the same time is going to eat up 30% to 50% of the US corn growing abilties which kind of does worry me. Now I would love for them to make ethonal out of pond scum in that you could make all the ethonal you need and would save the Chesapeak Bay by pumping in waste water from a Hog farm into a pond alga growing area which would work. But the fact that we are using food to make this stuff in a planet with 7 billion people does worry me a little.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 10:12 AM   #246
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^ That's a key cause for soaring food prices as producers try to satisfy both fuel and food needs.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 03:16 PM   #247
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Livestock farmers say ethanol eats too much corn
Associated Press
Nov 23, 2011

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Livestock farmers are demanding a change in the nation's ethanol policy, claiming current rules could lead to spikes in meat prices and even shortages at supermarkets if corn growers have a bad year.

The amount of corn consumed by the ethanol industry combined with continued demand from overseas has cattle and hog farmers worried that if corn production drops due to drought or another natural disaster, the cost of feed could skyrocket, leaving them little choice but to reduce the size of their herds. A smaller supply could, in turn, mean higher meat prices and less selection at the grocery store.

The ethanol industry argues such scenarios are unlikely, but farmers have the backing of food manufacturers, who also fear that a federal mandate to increase production of ethanol will protect that industry from any kind of rationing amid a corn shortage.

The subject of debate is the Renewable Fuel Standard, a 2005 law requiring the nation to produce 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2012. The standard was changed in 2007 to gradually increase the requirement to 36 billion gallons by 2022.

While a $5 billion-a-year federal ethanol subsidy is scheduled to expire this year, the production requirement will remain, unless it's changed by Congress.

That has other corn consumers worried that if production falls and rationing is needed, ethanol companies will be exempt. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reduced its estimate of this year's corn crop because of flooding in the Midwest and drought in the southern plains, and corn reserves are expected to fall to a 20-day supply next year. A 30-day supply is considered healthy.

At the same time, the price of corn for livestock feed has risen from an average of just over $3 a bushel in 2006-07 to an average of more than $6 this year.

"If we get a short crop, the ethanol industry does not participate in rationing and the brunt will fall on livestock and poultry," said Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, a livestock and grain marketing and economic advisory company in Adel, Iowa.

A bill introduced last month by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., would partially waive the ethanol goals when corn inventories are low.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents more than 300 food and beverage makers, also has endorsed the bill.

"We're behind livestock producers on this issue," said Geoff Moody, the association's director of energy and environmental policy. "We believe if there is a need to ration that ethanol will eat first because of the mandate."

About 5.9 billion bushels of corn were used for animal feed last year; 2.4 billion were exported; and about 4.9 billion were used for ethanol, up from about 630 million bushels in 2000, according to the National Corn Growers Association. About 1 billion bushels were eaten by humans in products such as cereal, sweeteners, and beverages.

U.S. corn farmers have steadily increased production over the years thanks to hybrid seeds and improved techniques, but Meyer said a 20 percent decline in the harvest would be enough to force corn rationing and lead to feed shortages. That would leave livestock farmers with little choice, he said.

"We can't shut down feeding," Meyer said. "The only way to do that is to kill the animals."

Even if there's no rationing, ethanol manufacturers generally have been better able to cope with high corn prices than livestock farmers because their business has bigger profit margins, said Darrel Good, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois.

Randy Spronk, who raises corn and hogs in Edgerton, Minn., said farmers don't want to attack the ethanol industry but they want a plan in place if the corn supply should drop significantly.

"We really don't want to attack ethanol but wise people make plans," he said.

Matt Hartwig, chief of staff for the Renewable Fuels Association, called the effort to rewrite the fuel standard law "little more than a Trojan horse effort" to weaken or even eliminate it. He said the farmers' complaints were overblown and most livestock producers and meatpacking companies were making good profits.

Also, the ethanol industry now produces about 1 billion gallons of ethanol more than is required and if corn supplies fall short, it could cut back, he said.

The Environmental Protection Agency, which administers the fuel standard, said in a statement that states can already ask for a waiver "under certain circumstances, including inadequate domestic supply or harm to the economy or environment of a state."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry did this in 2008, claiming rising corn prices were hurting ranchers in his state. The EPA said it denied the request because the quota for renewable fuel wasn't causing severe economic harm to the state.

Meyer said many farmers are skeptical about a process that leaves such decisions to the EPA administrator, who "many in agriculture believe won't consider the best interest of livestock."

Good, the University of Illinois farm economist, said meat supplies could tighten if competing demands force corn prices higher. He said it boils down to a simple choice: "We're going to have to reduce our rate of increase in corn consumption or we're going to have to produce more corn."
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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:29 PM   #248
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They can import corn from elsewhere. Welcome to the world reality, where grains have more uses than livestock feeder!
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Old December 28th, 2011, 09:07 AM   #249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
They can import corn from elsewhere. Welcome to the world reality, where grains have more uses than livestock feeder!
because elsewhere there is the an abundance and they dont eat meat no?you are one of the most retarded forum user that I have ever read
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Old January 7th, 2012, 12:09 PM   #250
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Quote:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/07/op...pires.html?hpw

Editorial

One Bad Energy Subsidy Expires

Published: January 6, 2012


Now that the most polarized and paralyzed Congress in memory has managed to kill one of its most resilient boondoggles — the three-decade-old, multibillion-dollar subsidy for corn ethanol — we hope it has not exhausted its resolve and will take a hatchet to other harmful energy subsidies, chiefly those it gives to fossil fuels.

The ethanol subsidy was allowed to expire last Saturday, a death blow that was all the more remarkable coming just a few days before the Republican caucuses in the cornfields of Iowa, where the subsidy has long been seen as untouchable.

The 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit for oil companies to blend ethanol into gasoline cost taxpayers $5 billion to $6 billion a year, deepening the budget deficit. It boosted corn prices and increased food prices generally by encouraging farmers to replace other crops with corn. Its environmental virtues were less than advertised. Billed as a lower-carbon replacement for fossil fuels, corn ethanol generated more carbon dioxide than gasoline after taking into account the emissions caused when new land was cleared to replace the food lost to fuel production.

Several factors conspired to kill the tax break (as well as an exorbitant tariff on imports aimed at keeping cheaper Brazilian ethanol out). Conservatives did not like the subsidy’s price tag and liberals saw it as a form of corporate welfare. It was also unnecessary and redundant. Corn ethanol is now commercially viable without the subsidy and is further supported by a Congressional mandate requiring refiners to blend up to 15 billion gallons a year.

Congress should now focus on the oil industry, which has long enjoyed a web of arcane and unnecessary tax breaks — deductions for well depletion and intangible drilling costs. They are unique to the industry and, when combined with other subsidies, cost roughly $4 billion a year..........
...
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Old February 10th, 2012, 06:15 PM   #251
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Ethanol Production in U.S. Falls 1.7%, Energy Department Says
Bloomberg
By Mario Parker - Feb 8, 2012 11:42 PM GMT+0800

Ethanol production in the U.S. fell 1.7 percent to 923,000 barrels a day, the steepest decline since Jan. 6, according to the Energy Department.

Output was the lowest since Nov. 18 and has fallen in four out of the past five weeks, the department said in a report released today. Stockpiles jumped 2.3 percent to a record 21.1 million barrels.

Production of conventional gasoline blended with ethanol rose 1.7 percent to 4.9 million barrels a day, the report showed, the highest level since Dec. 23.

Denatured ethanol for March delivery advanced 2 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $2.231 a gallon at 10:37 a.m. New York time on the Chicago Board of Trade.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 06:16 PM   #252
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Canada ethanol policy hurts livestock farmers: report
Tue, Jan 31, 2012

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Ethanol production has boosted the prices of grains that Canadian farmers buy to raise cattle and pigs, and Ottawa should curb or eliminate its support for the industry, an agriculture research organization said on Tuesday.

But a leading biofuels group said the report wildly overstated ethanol's impact on grain prices.

The report conducted by the George Morris Centre and paid for by livestock and meat groups said while many factors influence grain and livestock prices, Canadian ethanol production has boosted feed grains by C$15 to C$20 per ton in eastern Canada and C$5 to C$10 per ton in western Canada.

The result is added costs to livestock farmers amounting to C$130 million ($129.6 million) per year, the report said.

"Everybody says, 'Oh Canada doesn't set the global prices for grain, we're a small player'," said Kevin Grier, senior analyst at the George Morris Centre, based in Guelph, Ontario.

"The whole focus is to try and show that ... ethanol does have an impact. Canada's policies do matter (to grain prices)."

The George Morris Centre has previously published reports on ethanol's impact, but this is the first to quantify its effect on livestock farmers, Grier said.

Ethanol makes up a small portion of demand for corn and wheat and the report overstates its impact on prices, countered Tim Haig, interim president and chairman of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.

"Does it have zero impact? That would be naive. But it's minimal," Haig said. "We believe this (impact) is wildly overstated."

The Canadian and provincial governments spend about C$250 million annually, according to the centre, to subsidize ethanol production by companies such as Husky and Suncor, with the aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions from conventional fuels.

Ottawa requires the gasoline pool to contain an average of 5 percent ethanol.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #253
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Supply-demand crunch pinching ethanol industry
Feb 13 12:10pm

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Falling fuel demand, an ethanol oversupply and high corn costs could lead some Midwest biorefineries to cut back or idle production until profit margins improve, industry analysts say.

Troy Gavin, general manager of the Midwest Renewable Energy ethanol plant near Sutherland, Neb., said the 28-million-gallon-per-year plant is halting production for a period of up to eight to 12 weeks because of the supply-demand imbalance.

"It's got to work itself out of the system, and it will," Gavin said Monday.

Ethanol futures on the Chicago Board of Trade have dropped nearly 50 cents over the past five months to $2.21 a gallon, and corn, the alternative fuel's primary feedstock, is hovering around $6.36 a bushel.

Meanwhile, ethanol stocks as of Feb. 3 climbed to an all-time weekly high of 21.1 million gallons, according to the Energy Information Association.

"We went from some of the best margins we've ever seen to some of the worst in 30 to 45 days," Gavin said. "That is volatility like no other industry."

Rick Kment, a Nebraska-based ethanol industry analyst for agricultural data company DTN, said much of the lackluster demand is seasonal.

Ethanol is blended into gasoline, so a driver pumping fewer gallons affects both industries. And fuel demand typically drops during the winter months between the holiday travel season and their spring-summer road trips.

Kment said larger ethanol plants will likely cut back on production rather than go cold, as a shutdown can be more disruptive.

"That way they can jump back into it when margins improve," he said.

Another contributing factor could be the Jan. 1 expiration of the 45-cents-per-gallon blender tax credit. Although it didn't go directly to ethanol producers, it had been an incentive for oil companies to buy ethanol and blend it with gasoline, said Matt Hartwig, spokesman for the Renewable Fuels Association.

"Part of that might be a little market adjustment with the tax credit going away," Hartwig said.

Last week, Archer Daniels Midland Co. announced it was closing its ethanol plant in the North Dakota city of Walhalla, ending 61 jobs. The company said the plant wasn't profitable enough because of its geographic location and scale.

Kment said ADM's announcement seemed to be more of a corporate strategic decision rather than one based on industry profit margins.

Volatility in 2008 led to the bankruptcy of VeraSun, then the nation's second largest ethanol producer.

As skyrocketing corn costs began cutting into ethanol producers' profits, many tried to control costs by hedging, which sets future prices for corn sellers while helping buyers avoid the risk of volatile price swings by letting them lock in at a set cost.

After VeraSun locked into prices for its feedstock, corn went into a sharp decline from almost $8 per bushel to less than $5 per bushel.

Gavin said the industry is now better equipped to handle volatility, as companies have reduced their debt and are a lot less exposed.

"The industry has become a lot more intelligent and has managed risk in a lot different fashion," Gavin said. "Risk management has become a daily occurrence."
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Old February 17th, 2012, 06:34 PM   #254
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As Gasoline Sales Sag, E85 Sales Soar in Minnesota

SAINT PAUL, Minn., Feb. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While gasoline consumption in Minnesota dipped to its lowest point in a decade in 2011, sales of E85 fuel in Minnesota finished the year strong. Owners of flex fuel vehicles, which can use either ethanol-based E85 or regular unleaded, bought an estimated 19.8 million gallons of E85 in 2011, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. That would place 2011 as the 3rd best year for E85 sales, after the pre-recession records of 22.5 million gallons sold in 2008 and 21.4 million gallons sold in 2007. Minnesota drivers consumed 2.4 billion gallons of gasoline in 2011, down from 2.5 billion in 2010 and the state's 10-year peak of gasoline consumption, 2.6 million gallons, reached in 2004.

Sales of mid-level ethanol fuels were also up in 2011, with an estimated 2 million gallons sold at 71 flex fuel pumps (also known as blender pumps) statewide, up from the estimated 1.8 million gallons sold in 2010. Like E85, these mid-level blends should only be used in flex fuel vehicles designed to use high-ethanol fuels as well as gasoline.

Officials with the American Lung Association in Minnesota, which recognizes E85 as a clean air choice that can reduce tailpipe emissions, hailed the news.

"Minnesota is one of the few states that offer drivers easy access to a cleaner alternative to petroleum-based fuel," said Kelly Marczak, director of the Clean Air Choice program of the American Lung Association in Minnesota. "We have more retail E85 outlets than any other state, and there are nearly a quarter million flex fuel vehicles registered in Minnesota. Every time a flex fuel vehicle is filled with E85 instead of gasoline, it reduces air pollution, helps our local economy, and lessens our state's dependence on petroleum, which we import from other states or countries."

For more information on E85 and flex fuel vehicles or to find an E85 retailer nearby, see www.CleanAirChoice.org.

SOURCE American Lung Association in Minnesota
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Old February 19th, 2012, 02:59 AM   #255
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Quote:
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/

Dutch researchers invent a process to turn plants into plastics
By Tecca

PostsBy Tecca | Today in Tech – 12 hrs ago

It should come as no surprise to learn that the world is over reliant on petroleum, from the gas we put in cars to the plastic bags we take groceries home in. We're still trying to figure out how to make electric cars popular, but scientists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands may have solved the plastic bag half of the problem, creating an innovative new process that turns plant material to plastic.

Being able to convert plants to plastic isn't new, but the ability to make the conversion cheaply and efficiently is. The new technology uses a new type of iron nanoparticle catalyst to synthesize ethylene and propylene, the basic components of most modern plastics, from plant material.

This means that just about everything we use with plastic in our daily lives, from cars to paint, could one day come from a 100% renewable source. And since the process uses waste products such as branches and grass clippings, this new method of making plastic doesn't need to compete with the food
..
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Old February 19th, 2012, 06:22 AM   #256
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Will the plastic be biodegradable?
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:49 AM   #257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Will the plastic be biodegradable?
I don't think so, but

Quote:
Fungi Discovered In The Amazon Will Eat Your Plastic

Polyurethane seemed like it couldn’t interact with the earth’s normal processes of breaking down and recycling material. That’s just because it hadn’t met the right mushroom yet.

The Amazon is home to more species that almost anywhere else on earth. One of them, carried home recently by a group of Yale University, appears to be quite happy eating plastic in airless landfills.
http://www.innovationtoronto.com/201...-your-plastic/



Quote:
How much gasoline does the United States consume?

In 2010, the United States consumed about 137.76 billion gallons. This was about 3% less than the record high of 142.38 billion gallons (or 3.39 billion barrels) consumed in 2007.
http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=23&t=10
Quote:
How much ethanol is produced, imported, and consumed in the U.S.?

U.S. Fuel Ethanol Data Summary (Billions of Gallons)

Year Prod. Net Imports Consumption
2007 6.52 0.44 6.89
2008 9.31 0.53 9.68
2009 10.94 0.20 11.04
2010 13.29 -0.38 12.86
2011 11.51 -0.78 10.72
http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=90&t=4
Quote:
About 99% of the fuel ethanol consumed in the U.S. is added to gasoline in mixtures.
Any gasoline powered engine in the U.S. can use E10 (gasoline with 10% ethanol), but only specific types of vehicles can use mixtures with greater than 10% ethanol. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ruled in October 2010, that E15 can be used in cars and light trucks (only) of model year 2007 and newer without causing damage to the engine and fuel system.
Some States require use of E10. Minnesota, for example, requires almost all gasoline sold in the State to contain 10% ethanol.
US seem on a good track there .. what I don't get is what's with the E30 - E85 nonsense.

Last edited by maisonK; February 19th, 2012 at 09:07 AM.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 01:57 PM   #258
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Farmers Plan Biggest Crops Since 1984, Led by Corn: Commodities

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. farmers will plant the most acres in a generation this year, led by the biggest corn crop since World War II, taking advantage of the highest agricultural prices in at least four decades.

They will sow corn, soybeans and wheat on 226.9 million acres, the most since 1984, a Bloomberg survey of 36 farmers, bankers and analysts showed. The 2.5 percent gain means an expansion the size of New Jersey, as growers target fields left fallow last year and land freed up from conservation programs.

Crop prices, some of which reached the highest averages ever in 2011, bolstered the economies of Midwest growing states, sent net farm income up 28 percent to $100.9 billion and pushed the value of farmland to a record $2,350 an acre, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Global food costs are down 11 percent from a peak a year ago as grain output rises from China to Canada, United Nations data show.

“There is unlikely to be any ground that won’t be planted this year,” said Todd Wachtel, a 40 year-old who farms about 5,700 acres in Altamont, Illinois, and plans to expand his corn fields by 21 percent when seeding begins in early April. “Farmers know that they have to plant more when prices are high because they may not last.”

Production Forecast

A bigger harvest in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter of all three crops, will help compensate for shortages in the current crop year. Drought damage in Brazil and Argentina will probably spur the USDA to cut its global and U.S. grain-supply forecasts for the current season on Feb. 9, a separate Bloomberg survey of as many as 25 analysts showed. The USDA’s first forecast for the year 2012-2013 crop year will be Feb. 23.

Farmers will sow corn, used to feed livestock and make ethanol, on 94.329 million acres this year, up 2.6 percent from last year and the most since 1944, according to the Bloomberg survey. Soybean fields may expand 0.4 percent to 75.309 million acres, the fifth-most ever. Both crops are harvested after the current season ends on Aug. 31. Wheat in the season that begins June 1 will reach a three-year high of 57.233 million acres, up 5.2 percent, the survey showed.

Corn may rise 7.4 percent to $6.90 a bushel in six months because of the damage in South America, before dropping to $5.25 in a year as U.S. farmers increase supply, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a Feb. 2 report. Corn for delivery in December, after the harvest, fell 1 percent to $5.7525 today, 10 percent below the March contract on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Foresight Commodities

Wheat may tumble 17 percent to $5.50 by July and soybeans may drop 17 percent to $10.20 a bushel, analysts at commodity broker Allendale Inc. in McHenry, Illinois, said Jan. 21.

“The area is available to have huge crops this year,” said Paul Meyers, a vice president at Foresight Commodities Services Inc. in Long Valley, New Jersey, and the former head of grain-market analysis at the USDA from 1974 to 1983. “We are headed for a surplus-supply situation.”

Corn, soybean and wheat futures are down at least 15 percent since the end of August, helping to send the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Agriculture Index to a 17 percent decline. The MSCI All-Country World Index of equities gained 5 percent during the period, touching a six-month high today, while Treasuries returned 2.2 percent, a Bank of America Corp. index shows.

World food prices fell to a 14-month low in December, led by declines in grains, sugar and oilseeds, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said Jan. 12.

Monetary Fund

The USDA affirmed its forecast for moderating food costs last month. Prices will increase 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2012, below last year’s 3.7 percent gain, the agency said Jan. 25. The same day, the International Monetary Fund forecast a 14 percent drop in non-oil commodities this year, citing more supply.

Farmers in the Midwest, the main growing region, are less than two months away from planting seeds, and dry soils in some areas could limit output. The most widely-held option on December corn futures gives the holder the right to buy the grain at $7.

“It’s been an abnormally warm winter,” said Alan Tiemann, who is preparing to expand corn planting on his 2,000-acre farm in Seward, Nebraska, by 15 percent. “That may not relate to what’s going to happen this summer, but it keeps you on the edge of your seat a little bit, wondering when the next moisture event is going to happen.”

Corn averaged $6.79 in Chicago last year, the highest ever and twice the level of the previous decade, exchange data show. Soybeans averaged a record $13.21, 72 percent above the 10 previous years, while wheat’s average of $7.235 was the second- highest ever and 57 percent more than the past decade.

Trading Commission

Money managers have been betting on lower wheat prices since September, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. They cut their bullish wagers on soybean and corn in two of the past three weeks.

Floods, drought and freezes last year prevented planting of the three crops on about 8.577 million acres, 28 percent more than in 2010, USDA data show. An additional 1.84 million acres that were planted failed to produce, more than double the amount a year earlier.

Crop insurers paid out a record $9.1 billion last year to cover the damage, and the bill may top $10 billion when all claims are settled, Overland Park, Kansas-based National Crop Insurance Services said Jan. 24.

A return to normal weather in 2012 would mean more production from last year’s lost acres. The government also has reduced the amount of land it pays farmers to leave fallow by 4.7 percent, adding 1.47 million acres that weren’t available in 2011, USDA data show.

Rising incomes allowed farmers to buy more land and the extra seed, crop chemicals and equipment needed.

Profitable Industries

“Grain farming has been one of few profitable industries for the past three years, and there will be a tendency for farmers around the world to maximize acreage,” said Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, who has been advising farmers and grain elevators since 1979. “We have the potential to grow record world crops this year that can swamp demand.”

Deere & Co., the world’s largest farm-equipment maker, will report record net income of $3.14 billion this year, up from $2.8 billion a year earlier, the mean of eight analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg shows. Shares of the Moline, Illinois- based company rose 14 percent this year. Monsanto Co., the biggest seed company, will earn $1.9 billion, up from $1.61 billion, the mean of seven estimates shows. The St. Louis-based company rose 14 percent in New York trading this year.

Farming Accounts

Land prices in Iowa, the biggest corn- and soybean-growing state, averaged $5,600 an acre last year, three times the amount a decade ago, USDA data show.

While farming accounts for 0.9 percent of the U.S. economy, it has been among the fastest-growing contributors. The amount of value added by agriculture in the four years through 2010 rose 42 percent to $132.6 billion, compared with 8.6 percent growth for the entire economy, government data show.

U.S. exports surged as global economic growth boosted demand for crops, meat and dairy products, while weather damage disrupted supplies of everything from Russian wheat to Chinese pork.

Shipments reached a record $137.4 billion in the year that ended Sept. 30, with China the largest farm-goods buyer, USDA data show. While the government expects a drop to $132 billion in the current fiscal year, that still would be the second- largest ever and 21 percent higher than when President Barack Obama set a goal in 2010 to double all U.S. exports by 2015.

U.S. Unemployment

Unemployment in Midwest states was 7.9 percent in December, tied with the Northeast as the healthiest job region. North Dakota, Nebraska and South Dakota were the only states with unemployment under 5 percent. The national rate fell to 8.3 percent in January from 8.5 percent in December.

Corn will lead the planting surge because it is the most profitable row crop. U.S. mandates for alternative fuels have led to an increased use of the grain to make ethanol, and rising worldwide incomes are boosting meat consumption, increasing requirements for livestock feed. Global production of beef, veal, pork, chicken and turkey will reach almost a quarter of a billion metric tons this year, 62 percent more than two decades ago, the USDA estimates.

An acre of corn will earn as much $150 more than soybeans at current prices and normal weather, said Mike Wagler, 30, who farms about 7,000 acres with his father in Montgomery, Indiana.

“Farmers have the capital to plant a big corn crop this year,” said Wagler, who plans to sow 85 percent of his family’s land with the grain compared with 70 percent last year. “We can make more money raising corn than soybeans.”

North Dakota

In North Dakota, the largest producer of spring wheat, farmers probably will plant record corn and soybean acres this year as they use most of the 5.6 million acres that couldn’t be planted in 2011, said Frayne Olson, an agriculture economist at North Dakota State University in Fargo. Spring-wheat acreage will remain steady, he said.

David Kopseng, a fourth-generation grower on 4,700 acres in Harvey, North Dakota, said he will boost corn planting by 17 percent to 1,400 acres from a year earlier. in 2006, he didn’t sow any of the grain. Improved seeds have boosted yield by about 40 percent in the past decade, making corn at least $50 more profitable than wheat or soybeans, he said.

“We’re going to plant the most corn acres ever,” said the 47-year-old Kopseng. “I’ve been buying some more land and renting more because of corn’s profitability. It’s a great time to be a farmer in North Dakota.”
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Old February 27th, 2012, 03:51 AM   #259
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S.Africa sees $258 mln ethanol plant by 2014
Mon, Feb 20, 2012

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa plans to invest 2 billion rand to build an ethanol plant and help a nascent biofuels sector that could reduce the country's reliance on imported fuel, an industry player said on Monday.

Africa's biggest economy imports about 60 percent of its crude oil needs and became a net importer of finished petroleum products several years ago.

In recent months, South Africa has been hit by fuel shortages due to planned and unplanned shutdowns at four of its six refineries.

Roak Crew, chief executive at Sugar Beet RSA, which is implementing the project in collaboration with the government, said the plant could start operating in 2014. It would initially produce some 90 million litres of fuel a year as sugar beet and grain sorghum are converted into ethanol.

Output at the plant to be located in the impoverished Eastern Cape province could eventually be raised to 200 million litres a year, he said, but concerns among refiners regarding fuel blending and feedstock could hamper development.

"At the moment there is no requirement by the fossil fuel producers to blend biofuels into their products, and without this happening, the industry will not be sustainable," Crew told Reuters.

The plant would provide a major boost to the development of South Africa's biofuels industry, which has been held back by an inadequate regulatory regime and concerns that biofuels would hurt food security and impact food prices.

The plant would be funded by the government, which has a target of having biofuels annually contribute 2 percent, around 400 million litres, to liquid fuels consumption by 2013.

Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said the state wanted to ensure small-scale farmers are involved in sugar beet planting to boost farming in areas neglected during apartheid.

The construction of the plant is likely to start later this year, she said, adding that exports into Africa were an option.

"We have already done the pilot, so this now is beyond the pilot stage. We are quite confident that this is going to be a successful project," she said recently.

Canola, sunflower and soya are feedstock for biodiesel, while sugar cane and sugar beet are feedstock for ethanol.

South Africa's Illovo Sugar, a unit of Associated British Foods said it may opt to invest in biofuels from sugarcane if it made business sense.

The South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA), which represents refiners including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron, Total and Sasol said the government needs to ensure that the push for biofuels does not compromise the availability of fuel supplies.

"The regulated pricing mechanism needs to be determined. What guarantees can be given that sufficient stocks of biofuels will be made available to provide for the mandatory blend requirements?" said head of SAPIA Avhapfani Tshifularo.

South Africa's Department of Energy plans to finalise the mandatory blending regulations by the end of this year.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 03:41 AM   #260
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This is kind of sick that they are going to put a ethonal plant in this part of the world where they say tens of millions of people are straving do to high food prices. The only way I would suport something like this in this part of the world if it used a new idea such as pumping sewage water into alage tanks and have the alage make the ethonal.

There is another plant which if it could be tammed would be the greatest enothal plant of all time and that is duck weed that grows in canals and ponds and lake. The duck weed plant can grow at over a foot a day in many parts in the US it can basicly over a summer growing season take over a lake or a canal and block it to boats. It's very fast growing and I mean very fast growing and it can live in really crappy water. This would make a very good source for bio fuel instead of corn which takes a whole summer for one ear to grow and as of now humans don't eat duck weed but spend tens of millions of dollars a year trying to remove it from lakes and ponds.
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