While car manufactures, big agribusiness and our good ol’ president are pushing corn ethanol, toting it as the wonder fuel of the future, real scientist and professionals have a different take. According to recent studies, the only ones who will ultimately benefit will be the large agribusinesses like Archer Daniels Midland, as they suck small farmers dry and make a killing from all of the government subsidies.
The simple fact is this: Corn ethanol is 4 times less efficient than gasoline. Yes I said it, gasoline is actually better for the environment than corn ethanol. It takes over 110 gallons of gasoline to work 1 acre of land to produce ethanol. In other words while gasoline has a return of 5 times the energy that is put in to refining it, ethanol only has a return of 1.3 times.
Not only will farmers lose, but the global hunger issue will worsen as more and more farmers switch to corn for ethanol. This will cause the price of other agricultural products as well as corn, to rise and cause a massive increase in the number of chronically hungry people.
For a more graphical example of this study, have a look over at GroovyGreen.com and look at their take on Corn Ethanol.