The Ethanol Papers - Paperturn manuscript - Flipbook - Page 212
The hydrogen could be used to power fuel-cell vehicles, and when and if issues
related to batteries, etc. can be ironed out, fuel-cell electric vehicles will probably become the dominant form of passenger vehicles (in 40 or 50 or 80 years
Follow up from LIBERTY AND JUSTICE:
Over the short term, the amount of available U.S. farmland is relatively fixed.
Very little of it is unused. And it is actually decreasing with time due to development. An acre of ground used to grow corn for ethanol is an acre not used to
grow corn for food or used to grow soy beans or wheat or even hay- crops that
also feed into the food pipeline. If "ethanol corn" increases, food crops decrease. Generally less food means higher prices for food. Why wouldn't this be
And "profitable demand for corn for ethanol production" is profitable because of
subsidies and mandates, isn't it?
Reply from MARC:
Hi again LJ - Thanks for your comments and question. America has 440 million
acres of 'cropland,' and 939 million acres of 'farmland.' According to land definitions, farmland is not quite as good as cropland, but suitable for growing
things such as specialized energy crops.
According to David Blume, who’s one of the most experienced and knowledgeable guys in the world on ethanol and ethanol production:
“Of its nearly half a billion acres of prime cropland, the U.S. uses only 72.1
million acres for corn in an average year. The land used for corn takes up
only 16.6% of our prime cropland, and only 7.45% of our total agricultural
land. Even if, for alcohol production, we used only what the USDA considers prime flat cropland, we would still have to produce only 368.5 gallons of alcohol per acre to meet 100% of the demand for transportation
fuel at today’s (2007) levels. Corn could easily produce this level—and a
wide variety of standard crops yield up to triple this.”