1st Generation of Biofuels

  • High Dependency on petroleum
  • High dependency on price supports
    • Expired for soy diesel (may be reinstated)
  • Hyper-sensitive to cost of feed stock
    • Growers given no added benefits
    • Many ethanol plants shuttered à bought by petroleum companies
  • Shipped off to petro-refineries for blending
  • Vast amounts of water usage//requirement - environmental/EPA concerns
  • Few local jobs proportionate to size of operation
  • Two products: Ethanol and DDGs (occasional denatured corn oil)
  • Bulk of revenues leave production area

Ethanol is a very ancient fermented product, going back thousands of years.  More recently, referred to as "corn squeezin's", "white lightning", "country sippin' liquor", and many other names.  The fact it would burn gave rise to the notion it could be a good fuel for petroleum replacement, but it possesses an insufficient Reid Vapor Pressure (explosiveness) to make it suitable for such a purpose.  With the oil embargo of the 70's, the "gasohol movement" was born to again promote ethanol as a petroleum replacement - which went nowhere - except to spur on more serious research and development which as brought us to today's applications of ethanol (except for personal consumption, which is why modern ethanol producers must 'denature' it, essentially making it poisonous.