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Old 03-30-2014, 10:44 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bryn View Post
i read a book a last year called "alcohol can be a gas" the auther claims most corn in the US goes to feed animals for meat.
cows are really bad at digesting sugers, so corn made into ethanol removes the sugars, leaving cooked protiens and fiber. he claims the left over distillers grains are a better food for cattle, than the raw grain with all of the starch still in place,
the same bushel of grain cooked for alcohol with the starch removed will grow healthier cattle, bigger, faster.


it was a good read and he lists alot of crops for ethanol production, with potential gallons per acre, as well as considerations for things like climate, drought resistance, soil quality etc.

his take away was that corn is not a great source for ethanol because it requires really prime farm land, lots of fertalizer, and irigation,

but if you are growing corn anyway its better to make ethanol with it first, then feed it to animals not ment to eat a high grain diet

This is the basic truth. Its a pretty inefficient process and very energy intensive, but the ddg are just as good as a feed and they collect the co2 that is produced.

As far as the controversy over government subsidized farming for ethanol and ethanol content mandates.... well the government typically screws everything up.

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Old 03-31-2014, 02:18 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Why do we have corn subsidies? I read on permaculture.com that people complain about corn and ethanol subsidies, while oil subsidies are 1,250 times as much. As I mentioned, I do not know anything about alcohol, but do they not sell microbrew kits? What part of making your own alcohol is legal and what isn't?

At the same time, as Sheepdog pointed out, solar is 150 times as efficient as corn. If sugarcane is 9x as efficient as corn, then solar is 16 times as efficient as sugarcane. Solar electric does not have any emissions. Would the sugarcane sufficient to power one car also be adequate to capture the carbon it emits?

Honestly, I think that there is much more room for improvement with solar electric than sugarcane. I would actually like to see a hippy bragging that his car was powered by non-genetically-engineered corn, while my bicycle is powered by genetically-engineered sugarcane.

Solar panels do not need pesticides.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:13 AM   #23 (permalink)
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a bit of a tangent, i do not contribute $ to political campaigns at all, but I always vote. i love electric cars, as i love solar panels. but can't afford either. so for my (average $800) car I'll put in as much non petroleum fuel as i can. and from as local a source as possible. i am happy to pay the taxes. and happy to pay the extra 1cent per kw for renewable electron pumping sources. etc.

xist, i believe the highest alcohol/water concentrations that yeasts can survive in are 20-22% alc. by vol.

most of the aplicable laws for home made motor fuel would be about concentrating the alcohol by distiling or freezing. the home distilation laws are a hangover from prohibition that no social cause has gotten behind to overturn.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:33 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
Why do we have corn subsidies? I read on permaculture.com that people complain about corn and ethanol subsidies, while oil subsidies are 1,250 times as much. As I mentioned, I do not know anything about alcohol, but do they not sell microbrew kits? What part of making your own alcohol is legal and what isn't?
In most places you can home brew your own wine or beer. But you can't set up a still and make the hard stuff.

As for subsidies (corporate welfare), most big business gets subsidized, often brought about through political lobbying and influence.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:26 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Making alcohol is so easy that in Brazilian jails the inmates make their own booze usually out of rice, fruit peels and corn leftovers, it's called "Maria Louca" (Crazy Mary).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
Isn't the higher the sugar content the better for producing alcohol? My family does not drink alcohol, so I figure that is why I do not know anything about it, except that it burns pretty!

Grape-based ethanol? Wine?
Sure the higher sugar content leads to a more efficient alcohol production. Regarding grape-based ethanol from Italy, since your family doesn't drink alcohol, I bet you never heard about grappa, an Italian distillate similar to the Brazilian cachaša, but made out of the mashed grape leftovers from wine production.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:54 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
Making alcohol is so easy that in Brazilian jails the inmates make their own booze usually out of rice, fruit peels and corn leftovers, it's called "Maria Louca" (Crazy Mary).

Sure the higher sugar content leads to a more efficient alcohol production. Regarding grape-based ethanol from Italy, since your family doesn't drink alcohol, I bet you never heard about grappa, an Italian distillate similar to the Brazilian cachaša, but made out of the mashed grape leftovers from wine production.
Yes, grappa is very potent and also full of impurities. The same applies to what in the U.S. is called "sherry" (originating in Jerez, Andalucia). As with your "Maria Louca" the stuff from which it is made is literally from 'the bottom of the barrel', compared to more highly distilled liquor.

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