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BIOFUELS - Corn Ethanol

by S. Alexander, G. Karia, J. Smith and L. Cox.

Stephanie A

on 9 December 2012

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Transcript of BIOFUELS - Corn Ethanol

BIOFUELS : Corn Ethanol by: Steph, Garima, Jordyn and Lily. What is ethanol? It is an alcohol made from the starch and sugar in corn and other plants.
There are three ways of making ethanol:
- wet milling: corn is steeped in water until the kernel is soft to help separate its components. Then corn starch can be produced, and from that ethanol is made! Wet milling firstly produces corn sweeteners, and ethanol as a co-product (so it’s not a very efficient way of producing ethanol)
- dry milling: corn is grinded and then fermented to create ethanol, carbon dioxide and distiller grains
- cellulosic biomass: a pretty complicated way of producing ethanol, where the plant is sent to a refinery and they are transformed into ethanol using chemical treatments, fermentation and heat.
Dry milling is the most common out of the three in the US because it is cheaper than the other two.
Ethanol can also be used in:
- medicines
- cleaning solutions
- cologne
- rocket fuel - Compared to gasoline, producing and using corn ethanol adds fewer greenhouse gases to the environment.
- Ethanol production can be extremely environmentally friendly, but only if planned and executed correctly and with much care.
- Making some modifications to the way corn is grown, using cover crops, for example, can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released.
- Water that is used in the various procedures of creating corn ethanol is treated and reused afterward. more on... Sustainability and Environment Which sustainable environmental practices are being practiced during harvesting (of corn) to create ethanol? - E85 ethanol is significantly friendlier to the environment than fossil fuels.
- E85 ethanol is carbon neutral.
- Cost and benefits:
- Ethanol is already widely produced in Canada, - More environmentally sustainable than fossil fuels.
- It is important to note that the price of ethanol is unstable due to fluctuation, unlike gasoline. Gas emissions: Biofuels vs. fossil fuels How do the greenhouse gas emissions of the biofuels compare to those of the fossil fuels? HOW IS ETHANOL MADE? 1) Dry Milling: It is the most commonly used method.

1.Ground the corn kernels into a flour.
2.Add water and enzymes.
3.Enzymes break down the starch and make into sugar: dextrose.
4.Ammonia added to provide nutrients and control the pH (acidity).
5.Heated at high temperatures to kill bacteria and prepare for fermentation.
6.Cooled and combined with yeast in the fermenters.
7.The fermentation process takes 40 to 50 hours. It changes the dextrose sugar into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
8.The new product (beer) is put through distillation to extract the ethanol
9.5% gasoline is added to make it undrinkable: they do not have to pay alcoholic beverage tax.
10. The rest of the materials (other than the ethanol) undergo other unrelated processes. 2) Wet Milling: In this method we break down the corn into its four parts: starch, germ (heart), fibre, protein.It is sometimes a better process because it produces by-products that are used for other purposes like food industry (animals and humans).
1.Corn inspected
2.Soaked for two days: separates the protein and starch by breaking bonds
3.Ground up to separate the germ from the other products. (Germ used for other things like corn oil.)
4.Ground more finely. Fibre extracted with attrition-impact mill (machine) (used for animal feed).
5.Starch and gluten separated with centrifuge (machine)
6.Starch continues ethanol process. Gluten used for animal feeding.
7.Water and enzymes turn starch into ethanol.
8.Alcohol added. Fermentation. Some of the corn becomes corn syrup (for human consumed sweetener).
9.After the fermentation, the ethanol is almost perfect. Produced carbon dioxide extracted and sold to soda companies. Cellulosic Biomass Ethanol:

- This process is very rudimentary
- Currently being researched
- Could be very energy efficient!

It consists of using the entire plant: not just the corn kernel. It would eliminate agricultural waste, but would remove necessary minerals from the soil.
It is the process currently being used for switchgrass, sugarcane and other productions, but we feel that it is not beneficial as it requires the addition of many expensive enzymes to create the ethanol as the plants contain so many complex sugars. What are the economic benefits of biofuel production and potential energy independence? •JOB CREATION: Jobs of the industry include engineering, material collection, biochemists, farmers, production workers, distribution jobs, etc. All of these allow citizens to work and make money. •PETROLEUM: Canada imports more than 777 000 barrels of petroleum everyday.

- limit the money that we spend on imports
- It is estimated that the US will save 350 billion in import between 2010 and 2022 because of biofuels.
We can do the same!! •DECREASE IN PRODUCTION PRICE: Currently, one gallon of ethanol costs approximately 1,65$ to create, however this is expected to drop to 1,45$ by 2022.
At this rate, we will be able to produce ethanol for a low cost, benefiting our economy, as well. •CORN IS RENEWABLE: every year we grow more and more corn. We will never just run out and be left in economic ruin.

Of course, being a renewable energy source, biofuels do not allow for as much economic benefit as fossil fuels or natural gas, but when we run out of those: we’re done.

Corn doesn’t work like that. Food Industry and Agriculture Suffering
World Hunger Many argue that if corn is used as a biofuel, the price of corn will go up, and we will see a rise in inflation in the food sector.
+ A few years ago there were price increases and they were blamed on the biofuel ethanol production.

+Brazil is one of the world’s largest exporters for agricultural products and has kept production per capita up despite population growth.

+ Of the 5.5 million ha devoted to agriculture, only 1.7 million ha are used to make ethanol. The 53.7 million have nothing to do with ethanol. Therefore, the accusation is illegitimate.

Ethanol is such as small percentage of the land used for agriculture!

This same accusation situation occurs in Canada Some also accuse Canada and the United States of creating starvation in the developing world.

This is simply an excuse to hide the fact that in the developed world we waste enormous quantities of food daily by throwing out food, cooking oil dumped in sewers, etc).

The world already makes enough food. Enough for 4.2 pounds per capita per day. Populations starve because of transportation issues, corrupt governments, and inequitable political systems... BENEFITS AND PROFITS 1) The journey:

farmers grow corn and sell to ethanol plants

ethanol plants make ethanol and sell to gas companies

gas companies sell to the common citizen

Government makes money of taxes. 2) Ethanol can be used on the same models of cars that we drive.

It is not as if every human would have to buy a new car to use ethanol!

This is beneficial for us. 3) The by-products (of wet milling) are sold to companies!

- Carbon Dioxide is sold to soda companies
- Fiber and Gluten are used in animal feeds
- Starch Extras are turned to high fructose corn syrup: a common sweetener Ethanol in Canada: FACTS TO CONSIDER
(proving the over-exaggeration - The richest fifth of the world
consume 16 times more than the poorest fifth -The majority of the corn used in developed countries is used for animal feeds -Studies show that approximately 45% of food in the US goes to waste 4) The Environment!

- Biofuels are a renewable energy source
- Cleaner: (not made of hydrocarbons: less
greenhouse gas emissions)
- More energy put out than used in the process
(84000 Btus put out and 46 000 to make) http://people.hws.edu/environmentalstudies/Ethanol%20Info/Movie.html What are the environmental effects of growing the plant, examples soil fertility and biodiversity?

-The large and rapid expansion of U.S ethanol production has significantly increased the demand for corn
-Corn being one of the most water and chemical-intensive crops, increasing its production has generated concerns about its potential environmental effects
-Approximately 45% of corn kernel is carbon which is acquired from CO2
-The growers reapply fertilizers very often which increases the excess of nitrogen and phosphorus. This then leads to contaminating the ground waters and this brings out the uncontrollable growth of algae which exhausts the oxygen in waterways, killing many fish and other organisms
-Concerning herbicides and pesticides, atrazine is a very common herbicide used in the production of corn. Atrazine can lead to causing cancer in rats and could be carcinogenic in humans Why is it important to measure the greenhouse gases emitted? -It takes more energy to produce ethanol than is contained in the fuel
-It is important to measure the greenhouse gases emitted not only during the fuel's use but also during the fuel's production because there is more gas emitted
-Ethanol and crop production account for 50% of the total emissions, 25% of the corn production are the N20 emissions
-N20 is a very powerful GHG (289 times as powerful as carbon dioxide)
-Many people argue that this bio fuel cannot help reduce the state of global warming The green dots on this map of Canada represent the ethanol plants. In Ontario and Quebec, the primary plant used for ethanol is corn! What is E85 and E10?! E85 is a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. It can be used in most of the new car models (2009 - now)
E10 is a combination of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline, and almost all the cars dating from 1980 to now can use it instead of regular gasoline. Thank you! :) Economic Impacts Will people be willing to pay more for food if food prices increase as a result of using arable land to grow biofuels? The price of ethanol would not increase by much, and would fluctuate just as gas prices do now. The average Canadian family would be able to afford this increase because it is minimal and would greatly benefit the environment, as discussed beforehand. Works Cited
Addison, Keith. "Food or Fuel?" Biofuels
-. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_food.html>. "Canada Biofuels Activities." APEC Biofuels:. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, 21 July 2008. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://www.biofuels.apec.org/me_canada.html>. Bullis, Kevin. "Do Biofuels Reduce Greenhouse Gases?" MIT Technology Review. MIT Technology Review, 20 May 2011. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. "Ethanol Info." Ethanol Info: Fueling the Ethanol Buzz. Hobart and William Smith Environmental Studies Senior Seminar, n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2012. <http://people.hws.edu/environmentalstudies/Ethanol%20Info/Home.html>. Kent, Andrea, W. Scott Thurlow, and Katie MacDonald. "Plant Locations." Greenfuels.org. Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, 2010. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www.greenfuels.org/en/industry-information/plants.aspx>. Lassen, Crystal. "Economic Effects of Using Biofuel." EHow. Demand Media, 21 Mar. 2011. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/info_8088349_economic-effects-using-biofuel.html>. Michigan State University. "It's Not Easy Being Green: Ethanol Production Requires Careful Management for Maximum Environmental Benefits." MSU News. Michigan State University Board of Trustees, 17 Feb. 2007. Web. 03 Nov. 2012. N.a. "U.S. & Canada Fuel Ethanol Plant Map." Map. Ethanol Producer. Ethanol Producer Magazine, 2007. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. Pillai, Prabhakar. "Advantages and Disadvantages of Biofuels." Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 11 Oct. 2012. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-biofuels.html>. Roos, Dave. "Biofuels vs. Fossil Fuels." HowStuffWorks. HowStuffWorks Inc., 2011. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. Senft, Barry, Erin Fletcher, and Crosby Devitt. "Corn." Corn. Grain Farmers of Ontario, 2012. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. Writer, Contributing. "What Are the Benefits of Using Corn as a Fuel Source?" EHow. Demand Media, 18 Dec. 2009. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. Veal, Matthew W., and Mari S. Chinn. ETHANOL.N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2012. <http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/publicat/energy/ethanol_report.pdf
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