Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘ethanol production’

Amazon Deforestation Climbed 28 Percent in 12 Months

Posted by feww on November 15, 2013

5,843 km² of Brazil forest denuded in 12 months to July 2013

Deforestation rate in Brazil rose to 5,843 km² between August 2012 and July this year, a staggering rise of 28%, compared with the previous period, according to provisional figures released by the government.

More than 600,000 km² of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed in the past 40 years to make room for cattle ranching, farming and extensive transportation projects.

Agriculture accounts for almost 5.5% of the Brazil’s GDP, and is responsible for the majority of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions.


Cattle rest in deforested jungle near Maraba, in Brazil’s central state of Para, May 3, 2009.  Soon thousands of cows will be chewing pasture on the freshly cleared land in Brazil’s Amazon state of Para, just a tiny part of Brazil’s 200-million-strong commercial cattle herd, the world’s biggest, that makes it a beef superpower. More than 70 million are in the Amazon area, three for every person. This is where the industry has grown fastest in recent years, a trend activists say is due to cheap land, widespread illegal clearing and weak government enforcement. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker. Images may be subject to copyright.

Relate Links

Posted in Climate Change, environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Maize Madness

Posted by feww on July 13, 2011

More Maize for Fuel than Food

US ethanol refiners use more maize than livestock and poultry farmers

The ethanol refiners in the U.S. are consuming more maize than livestock and poultry farmers, a report said.

USDA says in the year to August 31 ethanol producers will have consumed 5.05bn bushels of corn, just over 40 per cent of 2010’s harvest, against 5bn bushels used for animal feed and residual consumption.

The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1): “Our slaveholder, the car, is taking the food right out of our mouths. The late Ivan Illich, a renowned sociologist, reported in the 1970s that when the miles Americans drive are divided by the time spent in the car (sitting on congested roadways, driving, parking, and servicing) and paying for it, they average 5 mph-about twice slower than riding a bike. Today, the cars are getting fatter and running even slower.”

Other Amazing Maize Stats

  • Ethanol production has pushed up the corn prices by 90 per cent compared with a year earlier.
  • US ethanol production could reach a record high of 13.7bn gallons in 2011
  • Both Brazil and China are importing US corn; China to import 2MMT tons this year.
  • USDA predicts global farm consumption could reach a record of about 878MMT.
  • Corn futures topped $7 per bushel.
  • Ethanol futures are currently traded 30 cents per gallon cheaper than gasoline futures.

Notes:

1. A bushel of shelled maize (corn) weighs 56 pounds (25.40 kg).
2. MMT = Million Metric Tons.

Related Links

Posted in environment | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ethanol Dries You Out

Posted by feww on April 18, 2009

US: One drought away from food crisis

Alcohol Dries You Out and Eats Through Your Food Security

Disturbing facts about ethanol production in the US:

  • In 2008, the United States was responsible for 52 percent of ethanol production in the world production, fermenting mostly corn to 9 billion gallons (~34.1 billion liters)  of fuel ethanol.
  • Ethanol production rose by 38.5 percent in 2008 compared to the previous year (from 6.5 billion gallons, or 24.6 billion liters in 2007).
  • United States imported an addition 557 million gallons of ethanol in 2008, from Brazil, Jamaica,  El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica.
  • Federal mandates encourage more ethanol production [not less overall consumption.]
  • The U.S. target for  for 2015 is 15 billion gallons, though it’s difficult to see where the industry is planning to get the water from.  [Data from the Renewable Fuels Association.]
  • As of January 2009, at least 170 ethanol biorefineries were operating in the United States with 24 additional ones (new location or expanding plants) being planned.
  • Corn is a thirsty crop requiring about 109 gallons of water for each pound (910 liters of water for each kg) of corn (shelled maize).  [Other estimates include 20 inches of soil moisture per acre of maize planted, producing about 150 bushels of corn per acre). Most of the water usually comes from the rain.
  • Research performed at Cornell University showed that 26.1 pounds of corn is needed to produce a gallon of ethanol (3.13kg of corn per liter).
  • Based on various sources, fresh water consumption is increasing globally by at least 1.2 percent per year, and the rate is rising.
  • Typical ethanol plants use about 4.2 gallons of water to make one gallon of ethanol, says the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. However, the ethanol  industry insists the water requirement is ‘only’ a ratio of 3 to 1.
  • Annual harvest of corn in the US (2008) was 12,101 million bushels (307.37 MMT). [Source: USDA]
  • Total amount of corn used to produce ethanol in 2008 was a staggering 3,600 million bushels (91.44MMT),  or 29.75 percent of the annual US corn harvest.[Source: USDA]
  • Total amount of water needed to produce 15 billion gallons of ethanol, the US production target for 2015, is about 22 million-million gallons (83.5 trillion liters). That is about a fifth of the estimated volume of water in Lake Erie.

Notes:

1. A bushel of shelled maize (corn) weighs 56 pounds ( 25.40 kg).
2. MMT = Million Metric Tons.
3. FEWW calculations show that about 14.28 percent of the ethanol produced in the US in 2008 came from milo, other feedstocks, biomass, cheese whey and beverage waste.

Posted in 2009 crop harvest, corn to ethanol, drought an deluge, US ethanol production, water security | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »