1985 Ethanol Production News

The U.S. made a push to increase ethanol production in the mid 1980s, but Brazil led the way.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
May/June 1985
Add to My MSN

Whether from corn in the U.S. or sugar cane in Brazil, a jump in ethanol production appeared to be a certainty in 1985.
ILLUSTRATION: SUNT/FOTOLIA


Content Tools

Related Content

Sugar Cane: You CAN Grow It Outside the Tropics (And Make Amazing Syrup!)

If you live in the South, you can grow your own sugar cane. Learn to plant, harvest and make delicio...

Homemade “Vodka” Tastes Great

Homemade vodka is easy to make and tastes great. Stay tuned —  MOTHER EARTH NEWS has an article comi...

Blume Distillation Offers Appropriate-Scale Distillation Equipment for Farmers and Communities

Blume Distillation debuts appropriate-scale biofuel distillation equipment that will allow farmers, ...

The world’s largest ethanol production plant has opened in South Bend, Indiana. The $186 million factory is capable of converting, each week, 20 million bushels of corn into more than a million gallons of fuel ethanol (to be used as an octane enhancer in unleaded gasoline). In addition, the plant is expected to produce some 186,000 tons of animal feed and 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The facility, built with the help of the largest loan guarantee ever granted under the Department of Energy's alcohol fuels program ($141 million), is lauded by some but criticized by others as an example of the industry's — and the government's — tendency to support a few large, centralized production facilities rather than develop a wide network of many smaller operations.

Our domestic ethanol output, however, pales in comparison to Brazil’s, where annual alcohol fuel production is expected to top the 3 billion gallon mark this year. In the face of near-record low international prices for sugar (they've been as low as one-third the cost of producing the substance!), the country will convert much less of its cane sugar crop to sweetener for export and much more to ethanol. Since American alcohol fuel producers use primarily corn — an increasingly expensive commodity — the Brazilians expect to be able to broaden their share of the market in this country, which already consumes about 90% of Brazilian ethanol exports.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.