Instructables

Step 3: Where do we get this alcohol

Picture of Where do we get this alcohol
So I am going to have take some flack for this next step, but please read everything before you comment.

How are we going to make all of this alcohol?

Short answer is corn.

"But then the price of food goes up and the farmers get beat up my oil companies, right?"

Not exactly...

"And I "read" it takes more energy to make alcohol from corn than you get out of it."

But....

"And the ...."

Hey who's Instructable is this anyway.

Yes the price of food is going up and yes we are making more alcohol for fuel, but that is a correlation, not a relationship. I'll elaborate, months that have high ice cream sales also have high rates of drowning deaths, so to save lives, don't buy ice cream....right? No, in the summer people buy more ice cream and people swim more, so people drown more. A correlation.

Food prices are going up because fuel prices are going up. Someone has to pay for your corn get shipped from Iowa to the chip factory in Mexico and then from the chip factory to grocery store, guess who that someone is....

Making alcohol for fuel makes food prices go down... let me 'splain.

In the US we make fuel alcohol from corn, why? 'Cause we grown a whole lot of corn. What do we do with that corn? We feed it to cows. My suggestion is to make fuel from the corn for the cows.

"But what will the cows eat?"

Stop interrupting

The cows will eat the corn that we use to make the alcohol.
I know, doesn't make sense. You need to know a little about rumenants and a little about yeast. Cows(rumenants) need to eat cellulose, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals etc. Notice I said nothing about carbohydrates, more specifically starch. Cows can't digest starch, it actually turns to methane (a green house gas) in their stomaches. This is where the yeast comes into play. We uses some enzymes and yeast to turn the starch in corn into alcohol...only the starch, the cellulose, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals are all left over. This is called Dried Distillers Grains (DDGs) its really good animal feed. So with the same crop we can make fuel and food, we get to use it twice, feeding animals corn without making fuel first is like throwing the fuel away. Plus farmers get to sell it twice so it is cheaper.
 
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mattsanford6 years ago
The other thing that drives up the price of the food is speculators - "corn will be used for fuel so let's charge more!" is the line of thought...