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BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast

GUEST,Shimrod 02 Oct 07 - 06:16 PM
Peace 02 Oct 07 - 06:24 PM
Emma B 02 Oct 07 - 06:27 PM
Peace 02 Oct 07 - 06:31 PM
Liz the Squeak 02 Oct 07 - 06:31 PM
Peace 02 Oct 07 - 06:39 PM
JohnInKansas 02 Oct 07 - 08:25 PM
Peace 02 Oct 07 - 08:28 PM
pdq 02 Oct 07 - 08:38 PM
Amos 02 Oct 07 - 09:26 PM
mg 02 Oct 07 - 09:36 PM
bobad 02 Oct 07 - 09:37 PM
Kaleea 02 Oct 07 - 10:04 PM
JohnInKansas 02 Oct 07 - 10:27 PM

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Subject: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 06:16 PM

Whilst idly browsing my breakfast cereal box the other morning I noticed the following advert on the side of the box:

"NEW! Multi-grain Corn Flakes. The goodness of 3 grains."

Apparently this NEW! product contains maize, wheat and rice - rather than just the traditional maize. Having worked in an (unrelated) 'fast moving consumer goods' industry I am very much aware that the words NEW! and IMPROVED! can often mean 'cost-saved'.
I am also aware that maize is favoured for biofuel production so that maize as a foodstuff may soon be escalating in cost. Could it be that my breakfast cereal manufacturer is introducing this NEW! product in order to reduce its dependency on maize and to wean us off pure maize-based breakfast cereal?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: Peace
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 06:24 PM

Glucosylisomaltol and hydroxymethylfurfural: There's the rub.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: Emma B
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 06:27 PM

you rub that stuff on?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: Peace
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 06:31 PM

Yes. Otherwise you get the farts.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 06:31 PM

I was always a little dubious about certain breakfast cereals.

If rice pops were made from rice, then it would follow in my addled brain, that cornflakes were made from corns.

Can I get a 'Eeuuuuwwwwwwwwwwww'?

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: Peace
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 06:39 PM

Certainly Liz. Here ya go.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 08:25 PM

Nearly a year ago, there were complaints in border states in Mexico that the new ethanol plants were driving up the price of corn to the point that the poorer segments of the population were unable to purchase tacos in their accustomed quantities.

In addition to a distinct and abrupt rise in price, there are areas where corn has been the staple food where they are beginning to see an inability simply to get enough to satisfy the need, at any price.

Meat producers are whining loudly about the increased cost of grain for livestock feed, and most meat prices in my local market already have increased by more than 30% over the past 3 or 4 months.

Estimates here, where "ethanol plant building" is at boom levels, are that the planned plants will require more grain than is currently available from all sources within roughly a year. While more farmers are considering switching to "ethanol friendly" grains, there simply isn't enough water available to meet the requirements if massive conversion to water-intensive crops happens.

Several planned ethanol plants have been canceled. Investors are beginning to question some others that are looking a bit "shaky" at present.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: Peace
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 08:28 PM

That in itself is very advanced. Why, here in Canada, we have no ethanol plants. We still have to ferment things to get the ethanol. What will they think of next?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: pdq
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 08:38 PM

Related to cigareet trees...been around a long time...origonally found on Big Rock Candy Mountain, so they say.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: Amos
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 09:26 PM

Actually the wizards in genetic engineering are working on a bug that will take cellulose and not only turn it into sugars but then turn the sugars directly to ethanol. I hope they won't be the sort of bugs that cause disease, is all.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: mg
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 09:36 PM

I hope they take the corn that is used in high fructose corn syrup and burn that as gas..also the corn subsidies...also some of the soy, which is very dubious health benefit for many people...then I hope they go after the garbage, sewage, animal byproducts etc. and turn them into some sort of fuel. Then I hope we have cheap and endless wind and solar energy, which we should have by now on every rooftop, and then I hope we wear warmer clothes and raise sturdier children who are not coddled so that we can withstand a 20 degree temperature variation over the course of a year say...all doable. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: bobad
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 09:37 PM

This company has been doing doing it for quite a while now.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: Kaleea
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 10:04 PM

. . .that's why all the folks on Rockytop get their corn from a jar . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: The Impact of Biofuels on Breakfast
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 10:27 PM

bobad -

The processes being used by IOGEN are fairly well known in the synfuel industry, but it requires an enzyme process to break down the cellulose, separation of the starches/sugars from some burnable (mostly solid) residue, a separate process for fermenting the starches into alcohols, and then distillation to recover the ethanol. Since each enzyme batch has to run to completion before the starches can be moved to fermentation, it's a "batch process" that's hard to convert to continuous flow processing - and hence probably "labor intensive?".

Even with the rising corn/grain prices, the requirement for multiple processes and complex processing makes it significantly more expensive than the more common grain fermentation/distillation methods in more common use.

Several groups have claimed to be "on the verge" of releasing (for commercial use) single "bugs" that will both break down the cellulose and ferment it, all in one pot. This obviously should be a much cheaper process - if sufficient yields can be attained - than the one(s) in use by IOGEN.

Resistance to building more plants of the IOGEN kind seems to be based largely on the belief that they will be obsolete - almost overnight - when (they say "not 'IF'") the new bugs are released for use.

Perhaps we'll know in a year or two.

Another development to watch, maybe, is the use of smokestack gases from coal fired plants as "food" for growing algae (green lake slime) that can be easily fermented to produce liquid fuels and clean up the stack emissions from the traditional stationary generating plants. Some results have been released that look "promising" but as yet this process is pretty much at the "pilot plant" stage. It also seems to require fairly large availability of water and good sunlight, which is something of a problem in some of the remote areas where people like to build coal-fired plants.

John


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