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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/30/AR2007073001484.html?hpid=artslot

Note part where it says sugar-cane ethanol costs half as much to produce as corn ethanol, and the process is five times as efficient in its use of fossil fuels.

Makes me wonder what the capacity of Cuba may be once the current embargos are lifted.

Also sounds like sugar cane might be a potential solution for Haiti. At one time much of the county was planted in sugar cane. I believe today there isn't much production in the entire country. Haiti would have the land, the climate and the workforce to do much of it manually. Potential employment plus creation of exports. However, I don't see that happening under the political situation there now. Likely a dictator would have to emerge and be allowed to control the country - which is against U.S. policy there.
 

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Brazil has done very nicely with their ethanol vehicles.

Along with finally allowing their vehicles to be imported into the US, I understand that our congress has also agreed to allow Brazil to begin importing ethanol into the US.

While over-all I dislike importing anything, it does go to prove the point about how much it truly costs to produce ethanol.
 

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Brazil is energy independent not because of ethanol, but because they're drilling for oil off their coast.
 

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Also note that Brazil only uses 1/10th. the energy of the United States (1/6th. as much per person and there's about 2/3rds. as many people in Brazil as in the U.S.), yet the linked article states that even these low levels of bio-energy production are wreaking havoc on the environment there.
 

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Monoculture of any plant creates environmental problems. We will be light years ahead of where we are now once we learn to economically crack the beta bond in cellulose.

That will allow us to use a mixture of native prairie grasses that will improve the environment (clean water, reduce erosion, and provide habitat) all at a lower cost and higher yield than corn or even sugar beet ethanol.
 

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hillsidedigger said:
Also note that Brazil only uses 1/10th. the energy of the United States (1/6th. as much per person and there's about 2/3rds. as many people in Brazil as in the U.S.), yet the linked article states that even these low levels of bio-energy production are wreaking havoc on the environment there.
...................Just goes too show ya that making love several times a day is both energy efficient (no lights) and good for your health . And , making love in small cars is all but impossible which means folks are staying at the Casa whilst doing the horizontial Tango and driving less . , fordy
 

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Deacon Mike said:
Brazil is energy independent not because of ethanol, but because they're drilling for oil off their coast.
And being the largest automobile manufacturer outside of the US, they shifted to non-gasoline personal vehicles in the 1990s.

Having a dictator helps in this matter. But the only vehicles allowed to burn petro-fuels are public transport and commercial trucks.
 

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Several years ago ADM built a large ethanol refinery in Cuba. Their idea was to export the ethanol to the U.S.
It happened at the same time that small boy washed up on the shores from Cuba. Part of the problem with him was caused by the ethanol plant.
It has been real quite since then and I don't know how the plant is doing.
 

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Sugar cane does grow very well here. And was grown for the production of sugar for many decades, until most refineries have shifted to making sugar from beets.

I grew up in the central valley of California. As a child we would watch the C&H sugar commercials showing children eating sugar cane. All of their sugar came from sugar cane, grown mostly in California and some in Hawaii.

Newer varietys of beets have higher sugar content. I have planted some on my land.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sugar cane was also grown fairly extensively in LA & FL at one time. However, U.S. production has never been all that great due it being significantly cheaper to import cane sugar from countries with cheap labor than produce it.

I remember reading stores about Castor basically closing all schools and some factories with the students/workers being ordered to go out into the countryside and help with sugar cane harvesting.

From a Google search it can be harvested in two ways - manually or mechanically. With manual what one person can cut and shuck off the leaves in one day is limited. A mechanical harvestor will cut, strip off the leaves and chop up the cane. However, doing so greatly shortens the time between harvest and when it has to be processed to retain sugar content. A sugar cane refinery may be idle for most of the year unless it can also process some other crop.

By and large productive sugar cane and corn climates are different so it would seem to be impractical for one plant to be able to produce ethanol from both.

I do not recall seeing any mention of ethanol from sugar beets, but I don't see why it couldn't be done.

A good bit of the energy in production savings comes from a growers being about to obtain sometimes up to 20 harvest off of the same field between replantings, depending on species.

Personally I think there is more of a future in manufacturing biofuels/biodiesel than ethanol gasoline.
 

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I pass a small patch of sugar cane each day when going to work. When it matures the farmer will sell it by the stalk to those wanting it. Don't know what he does with any that remains. I do know there has been an increase in interest in making syrup.
It seems to grow very easily and makes a very a great looking crop.
 

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YounGrey said:
Does sugar cane not grow well in the states?
Not really. It grows well in Hawaii, and some of the gulf coast states, and a tad in California. But, not nearly like it does in a true tropical climate like Brazil has - _that_ is where it grows really, really well.

The area it would grow fair to good in the USA is not very large, really.

Most of the super high-sugar & high oil content crops aren't well suited for growing in the prairies of the USA, which is typically the open area for agriculture.

--->Paul
 

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is there not a high import tax on sugar? and is this not why most if not all of the candy makers moved to Canada? so a smaller population country that does not use as much energy as we do and people go ape ---- on how great it is? Taking food off the table is not the answer, for NC they are talking about the worst corn corp in years will be less yield than last year even though more corn has been planted.

IMHO we should go electric, screw the flex fuel.
 

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krondor2 said:
is there not a high import tax on sugar? and is this not why most if not all of the candy makers moved to Canada? so a smaller population country that does not use as much energy as we do and people go ape ---- on how great it is? Taking food off the table is not the answer, for NC they are talking about the worst corn corp in years will be less yield than last year even though more corn has been planted.

IMHO we should go electric, screw the flex fuel.

Not sure about import taxes, I think it has much more to do with the fact that we in Canada aren't nearly as uptight about Cuban sugar as the US is.
 

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They are putting in an ethanol plant about an hour away from me in SW Kansas. I do not know the details, I received a flyer in the mail. They are looking for people interested in jobs. Pays from $10 to $18 per hour.
The area raises a lot of corn and sorghum.
 
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