Ninety-five percent of the ethanol fuel produced in the U.S. comes from corn, but one central California town is giving another sweet crop a try. Twelve farmers in Five Points, Calif., have received a $5 million state grant to build a plant that turns sugar beets into fuel, the Associated Press reports.
If the experiment works, California will build a larger plant in 2016 that would become the U.S.' first commercial sugar beet bio-refinery, the AP reported. The bio-fuel could go into specially-designed ethanol vehicles as well as regular U.S. gasoline, most of which is composed of 10 percent ethanol. It would also bring some diversity to U.S. ethanol at a time when the Midwest corn harvest is suffering from drought.
We'll have to wait and see how well the pilot plant fares, but the beets have a couple things going for them.
The science of making sugar beet ethanol is well established already. Europe has more than a dozen beet bio-refineries, the AP reported.
California has also successfully grown sugar beets before. The state was once home to 330,000 acres of sugar beets and 11 beet sugar mills. When sugar prices collapsed, 10 of those mills closed—but beets should still grow well in the California soil and climate.
Ah, another federally subsidized scam to increase the costs of sugar and food by getting these welfare queen farmers to grow according to the latest BS. Excellent!
The AP article says you'll get twice as much ethanol from beets as you would from corn. I've also read that required energy investments are lower for beets. Nonetheless, I'd rather stay skeptical of this until I see a thorough ERoEI analysis that actually shows this makes sense. Getting an ERoEI ratio of 4 or 5 to one wouldn't make much sense other than on perhaps a local level.
Redundant posting of an article with nothing new added to the article. I wonder what the point of reposting is.
When companies like Atlantic Bioenergy Corporation and Monsanto, the largest seed and biotechnology company in the world, have the same interests, this is unlikely to also be in the interests of the environment or farmers.
The proposed biofuels plant creates an entirely new market for Monsanto's genetically engineered (GE) sugar beet. With farmers being sued across North America for alleged unauthorized use of Monsanto's patented seeds, there is cause to be wary indeed. In North America, GE sugar beet for biofuels would have been an ideal public relations coup for Monsanto, but one that could have cost farmers and consumers in the long run.
Please research Monsanto, GMOs, and sugar beets. This is not good news!