E85 Boondoggle Of The Day: BrazIRL
We don’t write about motorsports here at TTAC. Well, except for that one time. Actually, we don’t write many E85 BOTD’s these days either. Ethanol and its lobby are in something of a retreat right now, as bailout fever crowds agriculture out of its VIP seat at the pork pump. Not to mention the fact that the MSM now seems to recognize E85 as the wasteful, pork-fueled debacle it is. Anyway, despite the fact that the US has a glut of ethanol thanks to already set ( and non-demand-based) subsidy goals, the Indianapolis Racing League has just concluded a contract to import sugar cane ethanol from Brazil to power its racers from 2009 and beyond. But don’t worry, under the terms of the multi-year deal, APEX-Brasil in cooperation with UNICA (the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association) will seek a partnership with a US-based ethanol company to supply the IndyCar Series with corn-based ethanol as well. Why? “The move to other sources of ethanol is a natural progression as the ethanol industry continues to grow and evolve. We continue to strive to be on the leading edge of the greening of racing. The IndyCar Series was the first motorsports series to mandate use of a renewable fuel, and now we will work with the ethanol industry in both the United States and Brazil to promote the use of all types of ethanol by consumers,” says IRL President Terry Angstadt. The only greening here is greenbacks being sent from Brazil, which is spending millions aggressively marketing its ethanol around the world.
My understanding is that producing ethanol from sugarcane (as in Brazil) is far less energy intensive than producing ethanol from corn so that it is in fact a more sustainable "greener" source of fuel.
I hope people realize that CART/IRL/IndyCar used Methanol before switching to Ethanol, so not really such a big "Green Shift" from before. NASCAR on the otherhand, recently switched to unleaded gas...
Yeah, Ethanol is a crock of shit. And, I guess that link to that one time TTAC did motorsport isn't working right, because it's directing to an editorial about NASCAR.
Methanol in the US is usually made from Natural Gas (Methane). I think even making ethanol from a shitty feedstock like corn is still an improvement.