Bioethanol and biodiesel markets are not working properly at the moment. The product prices probably do not fully reflect the input costs of making the fuels in many locations. There are signs on Making Biodiesel
, a blog about making biodiesel, that bioethanol makers may be facing a rude economic awakening…
Such is the excitement about bioethanol in America , where some 50 new plants are estimated to be in the planning stages, that corn futures prices last week reached 10-year highs
I’m not sure about the 10 year highs, but I’ve managed to pull off the futures price of corn for the last few
days and it is spectacularly up from about 250 to 380 in a couple of months. (Here’s an RSS feed for the corn price data
) .If that is being driven by hoopla about new bioethanol plants coming on stream in the next couple of years in the US (and there are tiny amounts scheduled to be produced in the next couple of years, compared to the volume of gasoline) then this is a something that the bioethanol industry had better get itself together to explain to people why the cost of their bread, bear and breakfast cereal is heading upward over the next couple of weeks.
The other thing I saw which made my hair stand on end was this…
At present D1 makes biodiesel from soya imported from South America , but has high hopes for jatropha, a crop that produces an inedible plant oil and can be grown on marginal land.
They’re importing soya from South America into the UK to make biodiesel! Hardly sustainable. Let’s hope the firm’s Jatropha groves
work out. No matter how much less carbon dioxide biodiesel produces compared with traditional diesel, most, if not all of that will be wiped out by shipping it across the globe.