19 June 2006

Cool, Refreshing, Thirst Quenching Ethanol

Ethanol is magic! Not only does it take more energy to produce than it yields, and delivers worse miles-per-gallon than gasoline, it also pisses away millions of gallons of water from aquifers. Why, we can't get behind this subsidized bliss fast enough.

City officials in Champaign and Urbana took notice when they heard that an ethanol plant proposed nearby would use about 2 million gallons of water per day, most likely from the aquifer that also supplies both cities. "There was concern about impacting a pretty valuable resource," said Matt Wempe, a city planner for Urbana. "It should raise red flags." It would take about 300 million gallons of water for processing the product and cooling equipment to make 100 million gallons of ethanol each year, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.

The demand for water by the two dozen operating ethanol plants in Iowa has not damaged water sources or supplies, said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. Improving technology means new plants use as much as 80 percent less water than plants built just five years ago, and most plants recycle their water so it has more than one use, he said.

Still, the draw on Midwest water supplies is a concern. The possibility of a new ethanol plant is one reason the city of Aberdeen, S.D., decided to seek new water sources, perhaps from deeper wells, Mayor Mike Levsen said. "We felt that for the current demand we had plenty of water to supply them, but that would begin to run us up to our limit," he said.

But hey, what a few million gallons of water per day? I mean, we're going to save the planet if it kills us, right?


flamer said...

Tanks run on gas.
Tanks need a lot of gas.
We're using all the gas running to home depot and pottery barn.
Better switch the useless eaters over to E85.

Bob said...

Current price of Ethanol is about four bucks a gallon and it only produces 80% of the mileage of gasoline. $4.00 in Iowa! then haul it to the coasts by rail and add it to the gasoline that wholesales for about $2.05 per gallon.

Yeah, that will bring the price down!

Do all government economists suffer from "fetal ethanol syndrome"?