The Instigator
JrRepublican
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
yuiru
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Corn Ethanol is an inefficient, environmentally harmful, impractical fuel that will not increase US

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
JrRepublican
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/20/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,471 times Debate No: 23661
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

JrRepublican

Pro

Round 1. For acceptance/questions only. Corn Ethanol is defined as a fuel produced by the fermentation of sugars, etc. of the corn itself. Debate excludes cellulosic ethanol. 'Good choice' means that it is an economically viable fuel which succeeds at its intentions: namely, being environmentally friendly and reducing dependence on foreign oil/increasing US energy security. Con will argue that corn ethanol is efficient, good for the environment, and will increase US energy security. Good luck!
yuiru

Con

I have accepted to argue with you, but I refuse to back up my claims and hold the burden of proof on you.


Argument:

To discern whether corn ethanol is effcientt, good for the environment, and will increase US energy security. I must first explain what corn, ethanol, and corn ethanol is, how they are used, and their benefits/impacts.

Corn:

Corn, or Maize, is a main resource of starch native to the north americas. Maize flour, as you know, is an important constituent in home food preparation as well as in numerous mechanized comestible goods.

Starch originating from corn can be utilized into constructing polymers of high molecular accumulation, textiles, bonding agents, and various other chemical compound goods.

The reason corn is used, is because it is so cheap and useful.

Ethanol:

Ethanol is an explosive, combustible, colorless liquid.

The leading singular utilization of ethanol, is ethanol as a motor fuel as well as a fuel stabilizer. It is known that ethanol as an energy source moderates detrimental tailpipe emanation of carbonyl, respirable suspended particles, nitrogen oxide, and other trioxygen producing toxins.

http://www.ethanol.org...


Corn Ethanol:

Now with corn ethanol, you have created something in mind of two things.

Corn Ethanol results in a 19% diminution in GHG, is better for the environment, and is fully biodegradable, unlike some fuel chemical additions.

http://www1.eere.energy.gov...

http://ianrnews.unl.edu...

By rising demand, the production of corn ethanol augments the value of corn. This stimulates constructive financial outcomes for US cultivators because it aids in decreasing federal farm program expenses.

http://www.ethanolrfa.org...


Conclusion:

Its true, I just spouted facts at you and haven't actually said anything argumentative or how these facts prove my point.

But,

It is more energy efficient because the cost of oil remains expensive, and the inexpensive use of feedstock like corn are practical and efficient.

It is better for the environment, and is fully biodegradable. Therefore, I say it is good for the enviorment.

It is an increase to energy security, by switching the need of foreign oil to domestic production of energy resources.
http://ethanol.org...

Con has just officially argued that corn ethanol is efficient, good for the environment, and will increase US energy security.


I hereby rest my case.

Debate Round No. 1
JrRepublican

Pro

Ethanol is not energy efficient because it contains just two thirds of the heat energy content of traditional gasoline. This fact is generally recognized, but specifically, I found it in a book by Robert Bryce called "Power Hungry." It is also inefficient because it requires massive amounts of land use compared to oil. Bryce compared the land use of various types of energy (wind, ethanol, nuclear, natural gas, solar, coal, and oil) needed to produce the equivalent of 2,700 megawatts. An average oil stripper well covers 39 square miles and produces approx. 148.5 horsepower per acre. Ethanol requires 21,267 square miles at only .25 hp/acre.

Ethanol is not better for the environment because it uses obscene amounts of water. Ken Glozer, in his book "Corn Ethanol" states the fact that ethanol needs about 1,100 to 1,500 gallons of water per acre of ethanol, depending on the state which the corn is grown in. Using the lowest estimate (the average for Iowa), it would require 16.5 trillion gallons of water for a mere 15 billion gallons of ethanol. Even these 15 billion gallons will require more than 40 percent of US corn crop, driving up corn prices around the world.

Ethanol will not increase US energy security. In part, this is because ethanol is extremely unreliable. Ethanol production would be impacted severely by either drought or floods, so it would not be able to function as a fuel source without significant reserves of petroleum in case of a bad crop-growing year. Oil, on the other hand, remains in the ground until needed.

Ethanol is inefficient, worse for the environment than oil, and fails to increase energy independence.
yuiru

Con

yuiru forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
JrRepublican

Pro

To continue with my arguments. You mentioned a reduction in GHG emissions of 19% (your sources ranged from 18-52 %) as being beneficial. Putting aside the fact that anthropogenic global warming is still largely n doubt and is probably not true if one looks at balanced, unbiased, and uncorrupted data, as well as the fact the the Department of Energy has a definite anti-fossil fuel agenda, this is not true in the long run. While ethanol emits about 1/3 less GHG than gasoline (a more reasonable estimate form Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute) with all other factors being equal, all other factors are NOT equal. Ethanol is not as fuel efficient as gasoline (essentially, a car that gets 26 mpg with regular gasoline would get only 17 mpg on ethanol); you need to burn one and one half gallons of ethanol to get the same Btu rating as one gallon of gasoline; and the ethanol refining process itself uses far more GHG than oil drilling/refining. Therefore, ethanol almost certainly results in the emission of more GHG in the long run, especially considering things like the fact that ethanol must be trucked as opposed to pipelined, etc.

Ethanol certainly does increase the value of corn, and that is a decidedly bad thing. Since the US supplies a large portion of the world's corn, and since even 15 billion gallons of ethanol will and has consumed over 40 percent of that crop, food prices around the world will rise. With the increase of ethanol in gasoline in late 2006 due to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandate, the price of corn rose from $2.80/bushel to $4.20/bushel. Neighboring Mexico, who imports 80% of its corn from the US, experienced a doubling in the price of tortilla flour, a staple for poorer families.

About energy security: in 2005 the US harvested 280 million metric tons of corn. The University of MInnesota states that if all of that corn were converted to ethanol, it would displace merely 12 of the national demand for gasoline. To continue to feed the nation and replace a paltry 10 % of gasoline needs, we would need to plant an additional 55 million acres of corn, likely this need would be greater since this land would not be of the best quality. Additionally, much of this land would have to come from the deforestation and conversion to farmland of forested areas.
yuiru

Con

Sorry about the forfeit, I assumed I had more time.
Since I failed my previous argument and do not want to re-write it, I will argue for round 3 and you can just feel proud about your arguments.

" Putting aside the fact that anthropogenic global warming is still largely n doubt and is probably not true if one looks at balanced, unbiased, and uncorrupted data, as well as the fact the the Department of Energy has a definite anti-fossil fuel agenda, this is not true in the long run."

Could you please provide some sources, I would love to use them in my argument against global warming.

" Ethanol is not as fuel efficient as gasoline (essentially, a car that gets 26 mpg with regular gasoline would get only 17 mpg on ethanol); you need to burn one and one half gallons of ethanol to get the same Btu rating as one gallon of gasoline; and the ethanol refining process itself uses far more GHG than oil drilling/refining. Therefore, ethanol almost certainly results in the emission of more GHG in the long run, especially considering things like the fact that ethanol must be trucked as opposed to pipelined, etc."

That is some pretty crazy stuff you just said, and I don't have a clue as to what you are talking about. I don't think I have the patients to research your claims, so I'm just going to rant you off.

1) I do not regard the statements

You said all I gotta do is argue ethanol is efficient, not that its "as fuel efficient as gasoline".
Granted the information is true, you may have debunked one of my points but I still have another one.

Corn Ethanol comes form a renewable energy source and is made from corn(which taste good with butter I may have you know), therefore it is efficient.

"Ethanol certainly does increase the value of corn, and that is a decidedly bad thing. Since the US supplies a large portion of the world's corn, and since even 15 billion gallons of ethanol will and has consumed over 40 percent of that crop, food prices around the world will rise. With the increase of ethanol in gasoline in late 2006 due to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandate, the price of corn rose from $2.80/bushel to $4.20/bushel. Neighboring Mexico, who imports 80% of its corn from the US, experienced a doubling in the price of tortilla flour, a staple for poorer families."

My source for the information that corn ethanol had economic benefits, said it benefited the U.S. but not the poor mexican families. If you want to argue the morals of the situation, go ahead.

"About energy security: in 2005 the US harvested 280 million metric tons of corn. The University of MInnesota states that if all of that corn were converted to ethanol, it would displace merely 12 of the national demand for gasoline. To continue to feed the nation and replace a paltry 10 % of gasoline needs, we would need to plant an additional 55 million acres of corn, likely this need would be greater since this land would not be of the best quality. Additionally, much of this land would have to come from the deforestation and conversion to farmland of forested areas."

Hypothetical situation, I refuse to accept it.


I won't be able to respond to the next argument in 3 days so expect a forfeit.


Debate Round No. 3
JrRepublican

Pro

First, your counter-arguments. Alright, your first point: basically what I said is that using ethanol decreases the fuel efficiency of vehicles. Most people would generally say that 26 mpg is efficient (many small cars get this), but few would consider 17 mpg to be efficient, since many pickup trucks get higher mpg ratings. Since ethanol has significantly less energy content that petroleum, it is less efficient and is therefore a poorer choice for the United States. Also, it emits more GHG because you have to burn more ethanol than gasoline to get the same power output.

Corn, it might seem, is renewable. But it is more expensive than gasoline (due to the high costs of refining, harvesting, distilling, etc.), results in consumers having to but more gallons at the pump, and is economical due to high federal subsidies plus the RFS mandate. Basically, ethanol would not exist without government props. Corn is highly affected by droughts and floods, and if ethanol becomes widespread, a bad growing year would wipe out a large sector of our fuel industry, crippling the economy and making prices at the pump rise.

The fact that corn comes from a renewable source does not make it efficient. "Efficient" is defined a producing maximum desired result for a minimal effort with as few undesirable consequences as possible. And since ethanol contains just two-thirds of the energy content of regular gasoline, it does not achieve maximum result with minimum energy, making in not efficient.

Ethanol may have benefits to US corn growers, but it will harm all Americans since corn is at the base of the food chain in many ways -- it feeds us directly, it feds many of our meat and poultry products, etc. Increasing ethanol production will decrease corn available for food in every country, resulting in higher prices in many products.

With the 'hypothetical situation' I was pointing out that even our tremendous corn production will not make significant dent in petroleum demand. This is not hypothetical, it is interpretation of facts.

I have shown that ethanol is inefficient because it produces less energy than traditional fuel sources. I have shown that it is bad for the environment because it uses prodigious amounts of water and land for a very small output. Finally, I have shown that ethanol will not increase US energy security because it can not displace a significant portion of our gasoline needs. My thanks to my opponent for a good debate.

(The sources that you requested are : Peter Taylor's book "Chill", the website www.Co2science.org. Try googling graphs of solar (TSI) and oceanic oscillations (AMO or PDO) to temperatures. Additionally, look up www.wattsupwiththat.com or Google Anthony Watts to find examples of egregious temperature measuring station misplacement leading to errors in recording. Note, the last site is a bit hard to navigate, so take your time. Greenland ice core data is also a good search. Most of my data has come from books, so I can't give you too many Internet sites. Patrick Michaels, Iain Murray, and Christopher Horner are other good authors. Hope this helps. Good luck in your debate.)
yuiru

Con

yuiru forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by yuiru 4 years ago
yuiru
I like to argue about things I am completely ignorant about.
Posted by JrRepublican 4 years ago
JrRepublican
Apollo.11 -- is that a bad thing? Economist Adam Smith showed that desire for profits leads to better results for everyone. A fuel that is cheaper and results in less governmental regulatory interference will be received with open arms. And besides, the debate is not whether the auto industries think ethanol is a good choice, but whether ethanol is a good choice on its own merits.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
Ethanol is the dumbest idea ever
Posted by Apollo.11 4 years ago
Apollo.11
"'Good choice' means that it is an economically viable fuel which succeeds at its intentions: namely, being environmentally friendly and reducing dependence on foreign oil/increasing US energy security."

I reject the notion that the auto industry gives a crap about any of those things. Profit is the ONLY measure of success to the auto industry, or any private industry for that matter.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by CiRrK 4 years ago
CiRrK
JrRepublicanyuiruTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FF