Thursday, October 17, 2013

Horse Feeds or Horsepower: Evaluating the Best Use of Grain - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · October 7, 2013

With easily accessible fossil fuel supplies becoming harder to find, the energy industry has looked at alternate sources of power for the millions of cars and trucks on America’s highways. Technologies have been developed and refined for deriving vegetable-based fuels from corn, soybeans, and sugarcane, agricultural products that previously were used mostly for human and animal food. This situation has led to increased market competition for these crops, pushing prices up for a finite supply even as more efficient farming practices have boosted production.

The manufacture of crop-derived fuel is probably not yet at its maximum efficiency, but it will need to improve significantly to equal the energy return on investment (EROI) of conventional oil. In other words, it takes energy to make energy, and a low yield of power equates to an expensive and inefficient use of raw materials...

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