Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The problems of Corn Biofuel

Though I think Biofuel is a necessary idea these days worldwide, I think that Corn is not a very good choice as a biofuel. The first problem is that it takes more energy to produce corn biofuel from corn than one receives from burning corn ethanol.

Next, Corn seriously depletes soil each time it is grown. What this means realistically, is that unless one grows legumes, various kinds of beans to renew the soil, the soil just gets more and more depleted. Corn cannot be realistically grown season after season without serious soil depletion.

The third problem is that since corn is a food, growing corn for biofuel causes the price of corn worldwide to skyrocket and people especially in Central and South America to starve because of their dependence on corn tortillas as a food staple.

So, I think a better solution would be sugar cane, which could be grown further south in places like Florida and some southern states. Brazil has already perfected using sugarcane ethanol and so we could benefit from their success. Since sugarcane is only used to make molasses and sugar, it is not a food staple and doesn't contribute to world starvation.

So, because of Brazil's success in refining Sugarcane into ethanol, growing sugarcane in the southern U.S. and refining it into ethanol could become a win win situation for everyone.

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