Kitman Begins His Literary Quest to Find the Truth About Ethanol

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
kitman begins his literary quest to find the truth about ethanol

One struggles to count on more than one finger the number of fuels debated more than ethanol — in America, corn-based ethanol specifically. Many detractors claim ethanol’s disadvantages outweigh its benefits. Proponents for ethanol in our fuel supply contend the fuel’s geopolitical positives and other factors give ethyl alcohol much needed consideration. Unfortunately, both sides of the ethanol coin have a multitude of reasons for supporting or protesting the fuel beyond the immediately obvious.

Enter Automobile’s Jamie Kitman. The man is looking to separate the corn from the husk in a new multi-part series dubbed “ The War Against Ethanol.”

The first part of Mr. Kitman’s series will by no means set the debate alight. However, he does set up the scenario that’s caused such consternation when it comes to mixing ethanol with the fuel supply.

For starters, both sides in the debate have big money at risk, and neither side is one with which a typical private individual usually chooses to align.

Few without direct financial stake can object to calling out Big Agriculture and everything it has done to, ahem, encourage the federal government to mandate corn ethanol’s use in gasoline, as opposed to any other available feedstock, of which there are many. And Big Oil needs no introduction. One really hates to have to choose between the two.

He continues by stating ethanol is much better than some of the chemical alternatives (though ethanol itself is not perfect), and the corn-based fuel has been debated since the 1920s.

I wish Mr. Kitman the best as he tries to find some truth in all the ethanol propaganda — uttered by both sides. We’ll be following this closely.

[Image: By 127driver (Own work) [ CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

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  • Notapreppie Notapreppie on Aug 18, 2016

    I don't mind ethanol as a replacement for MTBE. I don't even mind converting corn into ethanol for that limited use. But using ethanol as a primary fuel stock is a bad idea and it just gets worse when you consider how inefficient the process of turning corn into ethanol is.

    • See 1 previous
    • Bullnuke Bullnuke on Aug 19, 2016

      @Drzhivago138 Do an energy balance for both processes starting from well-head/bare field in the spring to final products in the 5k gallon tankwagon. Compare the energy in Btu's / lbm between the final products. Include costs of labor, seed, fertilizers and infrastructure. Show all your work in the blank space below:

  • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Aug 18, 2016

    Kitman is as interested in the truth about ethanol as Al Gore is.

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