Tag Archives | Iowa

US Biofuel farmers could benefit twice from cap and trade

I think that farmers in the US might be able to benefit twice from some carbon cap-and-trade proposals, according to this piece from the Des Moines Register. First they’d have to move to no-till planting and secondly they’d have to get some kind of a share of  the credit from the biofuel producers. Looks interesting […]

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How much stover to leave

Iowa Farmer Today (I should take out a subscription I’m quoting the publication so much at the moment) has a good piece looking at how much stover should be left on the fields after corn harvesting. Stover could be good source of cellulose for cellulosic ethanol in a couple of years time. But there are […]

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How to grow more corn: Plant it closer together

You might have noticed that there are a couple of conversations chuntering on in earlier posts. Mostly these deal with the ability to plant enough corn to sustain the US ethanol business and keep people fed at a reasonable price. Here’s breakthrough that is stunning in its simplicity from Iowa Farmer Today: plant the corn […]

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Miscanthus research in Iowa

The Iowa State University is looking hard at Miscanthus as a potential biofuel feedstock, says the Des Moines Register. Miscanthus, on the other hand, holds the potential to make up to 2timesas much ethanol per ton as corn. A University of Illinois study in 2005showed that using corn or switchgrass to produce enough ethanol tooffset […]

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Ethanol is a stepping stone

This is interesting, and  would be more interesting if there were a measure of how much diverting corn into ethanol (25% of the corn crop in 2007 produced 2.65% of the US total demand for gasoline in 2006) had an effect on prices of food. Northey is right. Corn ethanol has to be a transitory […]

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Catalyst break through for biofuels

The Ames Laboratory (at the US Department of Energy) and Iowa State University recently published a press release claiming that it should be possible to produce ethanol from all types of carbon-based biomass. This is reported on Senter Novem. The key lies in the catalyst of which there is little detail apart from it being […]

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Now big food is using underground campaigning against ethanol

  Now big food, in the shape of the US Grocery Manufacturers’ Association  is using underground campaigning against ethanol, according to DesMoinesRegister.com ,which is printed deep in the heart of the US cornbelt, Iowa. The website reports Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer saying “Underground things that have been going on for several weeks to generate the public opinion that […]

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WTO Bali meeting could help reduce biofuel tariffs

The WTO meeting in Bali from 8 December, could (theoretically) lead to a reduction in tariffs on biofuels and also support for farmers. According to the GuardianUnlimited, reporting a story from Reuters. [President] Bush said on Wednesday the United States’ guiding principle in the Bali talks would be to find a way to reduce greenhouse […]

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Interfaces between fuel food and the US political process

Interesting story on the connection between farming, energy and midwestern primary elections on the Des Moines Register yesterday. Good to see that there is talk of fuel efficiency in at least one of the bills. The US is going to use around 177 000 million gallons of gasoline this year, its already using 20% of […]

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Comparative econonmics of first and second generation biofuels

A study in the comparative economics of first and second generation biofuels has been published in Biofuels Bioproducts and Biorefining, a Society of Chemical Industry journal. The key finding in the paper from Mark Wright and Robert Brown, of the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies at Iowa State University. Is that: The cost of advanced […]

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