Ensus new website outlines paradox at heart of biofuel from food processes

Ensus new website, for me outlines the paradox at the heart of the biofuel from food processes. If you take food out of the food chain then there’s less to eat. It really is that simple even if you’re using animal grade wheat. Animals cannot surely live on just protein and bran? With a minimum of three stomachs that’s hardly what they evolved to do.

 It is good to see the carbon dioxide from the plant will be captured and re used in fizzy drinks, among other areas. How much will eventually find its way back to the atmosphere?  Presumably Yara is doing this on a commercial basis and it would be interesting to know what the cost of doing this is compared to capturing the carbon dioxide produced as part of Yara’s fertilizer production. 

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3 Responses to Ensus new website outlines paradox at heart of biofuel from food processes

  1. larryhagedon 24 October, 2008 at 1:39 am #

    Hi Simon, I see you are still having problems understanding that US food production is anything but finite, that more demand always results in more production, that we can ramp up our food production, including all grains, by huge amounts anytime our demand increases.

    Right now we are exporting a lot of distillars dry grains to Mexico because they want it and American cattle feeders dont.

    What we feed animals is always subject to competitive forces. For a long time corn has been generally cheap, with periodic spikes in prices over the years that have always made livestock feeders squeal.

    Now as Bio-Technology flourishes, animal feeds are once again coming down in price, and as new feed products are developed, they will continue to get cheaper.

    Then one year we will have a new crisis and feed prices will spike again and the doomsday prophets will again come out of their graves and once again predict doom and gloom.

    Massive production of green algae cake will settle those cows stomaches.


  2. Simon Robinson 24 October, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    In the UK some farmers feed their cows silage — a kind of fermented hay — so algae slurry might be quite palatable to cows. I take your points about being able to ramp up supply quickly. I don’t doubt that the problem is the lags in the system. Which is where we are now, and so there’s some pain. I don’t doubt that more corn can be grown, but is that the right answer for biofuels?

  3. Drew 24 October, 2008 at 8:37 pm #

    Perhaps it is the use of marginal lands that is what needs to happen. Traditonal feedstocks still have a place, but it may be in other places in the world that we haven’t thought of yet. After all the doomsday hype in early spring, the future for renewable liquid was given a push towards waste capture and second gen technologies.

    This is too bad as I’d hate to see a loss of potential from the lowest hanging fruit and the still available potential through traditional feedstock sources.

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