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Old 10-01-2008, 04:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
trebuchet03
MechE
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 1,151

The Miata - '01 Mazda MX-5 Miata
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Ethanol tech is always advancing - I'm fairly confident current and future research will bring efficiency up. I'm also fairly confident that corn ethanol is not going to be a midterm or long term solution, but perhaps a short term.

As far as the costs, here's a more reliable source
petroleum.berkeley.edu/papers/patzek/CRPS416-Patzek-Web.pdf

Which shows a 7:1 ratio (energy in:energy out) with a max ideal ratio of 2.4:1.
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As for why? I don't know... It's a good idea in theory - like the gold standard and magical perpetual motion machines, but it'll be awhile before the thought of returns are on the table. The US has a proud history of engineering it's way out of its troubles, I see no reason why energy solutions will be any different.

No offense to farmers.... but farmers have been fairly stupid over the past decades... "Oh noes, the price of corn dropped. It's okay, we'll just plant more corn next season to make up for it." (also applies to soy beans etc. etc.)

And seriously, I'm waiting for the great corn famine of 2015 (or whatever date) reminiscent of the days when a society put all their potatoes in one basket o.0

And the last bit of my rant... Has anyone else noticed TV commercials for HFCS? Yikes! Has anyone compared a coke from Mexico to a coke from the US? Coke uses cane sugar in it's Mexican recipe and HFCS in it's US recipe... The mexi-coke doesn't leave that nasty HFCS sticky coating on the back of your throat (yes, the taste is the same - but the texture is very different)
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