How much corn does it take to produce ethanol?
The amount of corn used to produce ethanol can vary depending on several factors, including the efficiency of the ethanol production process and the overall demand for ethanol. On average, it takes around 2.8 to 3.2 bushels of corn to produce one gallon of ethanol.
Each year, one acre of corn produces 551 gallons of ethanol, which is the equivalent of 386 gallons of gas. Using the average miles per gallon of a US automobile, this equates to 9,691 miles driven per acre of corn per year.
Overall, 94% of ethanol in the United States is produced from corn. Currently, corn ethanol is mainly used in blends with gasoline to create mixtures such as E10, E15, and E85.
Every time you make 1 gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTU." Ethanol from corn costs about $1.74 per gallon to produce, compared with about 95 cents to produce a gallon of gasoline.
One bushel of corn grain will yield one-third ethanol, one-third distillers grains, and one-third carbon dioxide, or 17 pounds of distillers grains and 2.8 gallons of ethanol.
Basically, ethanol, DDGS, and corn oil prices were able to move to historically high enough levels to offset record high corn prices. In dollar terms, the net profit for a representative ethanol plant was $15.7 million in 2022, and this was solidly in the top half of years.
In general, ethanol fuel has the potential to be less expensive than gasoline due to factors such as lower production costs and government incentives. However, the actual pricing can fluctuate, and it's best to check the current prices in your specific area for an accurate comparison.
Corn Production Is Largely Fueled By Petroleum: Growing and harvesting corn for ethanol takes a lot of energy - farm machinery, fertilizers, energy required to convert corn into ethanol, transportation, etc. Studies have shown that 74-95% of the energy content in corn ethanol comes from fossil fuels.
Ethanol is a domestically produced alternative fuel most commonly made from corn.
- Corn ethanol emits greenhouse gases.
- Crops grown to produce ethanol destroy habitats and valuable food sources.
- Ethanol requires a significant use of land to grow enough crops to produce.
- Ethanol, though inexpensive, is more expensive than gasoline on the East and West Coast.
Is it expensive to make ethanol?
First, ethanol generally costs more to produce than gasoline. Although grain prices play a role in determining cost, alcohol production is also a significant cost. The distillation of grains is more complicated and costly than the distillation of crude oil.
Ethanol production costs were estimated at $3.48 per gallon using raw sugar as a feedstock and were estimated at $3.97 per gallon using refined sugar. For these feedstocks, feedstock costs accounted for more than 80 percent of the total estimated ethanol production cost.
Starch can be rather easily processed to break it down into simple sugars, which can then be fed to yeast to produce ethanol. Modern ethanol pro- duction can produce approximately 2.7 gallons of fuel ethanol per bushel of corn.
The process to harvest and produce corn-based ethanol creates more harmful emissions than normal gasoline, according to a new report published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
The ethanol content of most of the motor gasoline sold in the United States does not exceed 10% by volume. Most motor gasoline with more than 10% fuel ethanol content is sold in the Midwest where most ethanol production capacity is located.
Grain-based ethanol cuts greenhouse gas emissions significantly—by 44 to 52% compared to gasoline, according to the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.
Over reliance on corn ethanol could pressure the land and water base, contributing to a dramatic loss of prairie ecosystems in the U.S. and reducing the influence of compliance programs designed to reduce soil erosion and protect ecosystems.
What's more, burning corn ethanol in gasoline releases more benzene, a known carcinogen, and other toxic air pollutants that have been linked to asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments.
The Danger Of Harmful Emissions
This could factor in the fertilizer usage and land usage change. Furthermore, burning corn ethanol in gasoline can release a known carcinogen, benzene, amongst other harmful air pollutants.
Ethanol production facilities have improved their water efficiency over time. They currently use approximately three gallons of water to produce a gallon of ethanol.
Can you make your own e85?
e85 is nothing more than 85% ethanol mixed with 15% gasoline. Making your own ethanol will require some initial investment, but the rewards will be very, very beneficial. You can make your own e85 for right around a $1.00 a gallon if you buy the corn and for about $. 60 a gallon if you grow your own corn.
The production of a gallon of ethanol typically requires about 1.5 gallons of gasoline. This includes the energy used in planting, growing, and harvesting the corn or other feedstock, as well as the energy used in the conversion process.
There are no passenger cars designed to take E100 (but some racing cars are) so it could damage your car engine. Even Flexible-Fuel vehicles (FFVs) – which can run on petrol or ethanol – can only take up to E85. 100% ethanol is hard to come by.
In the U.S, ethanol fuel is mainly used as an oxygenate in gasoline in the form of low-level blends up to 10 percent, and, increasingly, as E85 fuel for flex-fuel vehicles. The U.S. government subsidizes ethanol production.
87-octane can have no more than 10 percent ethanol. The difference between 87 and 88 is an additional 5% ethanol. This is important because if you have an owner's manual from a vehicle made in 2002-2015, it probably lists the maximum amount of ethanol at up to 10 percent.