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U.S. Farm Report Mailbag

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End the Ethanol Subsidy???

Apr 06, 2011

   It's so good to hear a farmer who isn't into getting subsidies for himself at the expense of the taxpayer. Don't get me wrong, I understand the reason for subsidized crop ins. etc, but get rid of the ethanol subsidy.  Considering many poor people with older cars will risk catching fire due to the 15% ethanol content in the gasoline and it's highly corrosive effects on auto fuel systems, plus there is less energy in ethanol than gasoline per unit volume, so a gallon of ethanol will get you far less mileage than a gallon of gasoline, unless you can take advantage of the high basic octane rating with a turbocharger or something similar, but you still won't do as well.  Best to use the ethanol for jet aircraft as ethanol doesn't freeze as easily as kerosene(the basic fuel in jet fuel) and emulsifies H2O better, thereby eliminating two issues at once for jet airliners. 

  • Ethanol is 76,000 btu per gallon.
  • 1 gallon of ethanol weighs 6.584 lbs
  • Gasoline 114,000 BTU/gal
  • One US gallon or from 5.92 to 6.42 lbs

Les Odgers

 
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