Facts about Ethanol
TORONTO, Feb. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - A report, paid for by the beef and hog
producers of Canada and written by an organization that goes by the
name of George Morris Centre, misrepresents the facts. The author, who
works for the Centre, wrote a report saying that the corn demand for
ethanol production is driving up the cost of animal feed. According to
Ken Field, a member of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA)
Board, the huge increase in corn production has prevented a negative
impact on the livestock industry and feed prices.
The North American corn crop has almost doubled because farmers plant
more prolific seeds for industrial corn and have improved agricultural
practices. The increase in corn crop yields over the past several years
is roughly equal to the annual demand for corn by the ethanol industry.
Further, ethanol production uses only the starch from the corn kernel,
returning all the healthy protein, fibre, minerals and vitamins back
into the feed market as Dried Distillers Grains (DDGs). "With more than
a million tons of DDGs produced in Canada every year, our industry
produces both animal feed and fuel," said Field.
The CRFA's findings were corroborated in a major independent study on
ethanol published last November by the Conference Board of Canada. This
study found that the rapid increase in North American ethanol
production since 2004 has been met through surplus and higher yields of
corn. It shows there is no evidence of land use changes in Canada or
the U.S. due to ethanol production, and that the main cause of higher
agricultural prices is the rising cost of crude oil.
"Without the ethanol industry, there would be a huge glut in the
Canadian corn market," said Tim Haig, Acting President, CRFA.
"Considering that about 70 per cent of Canada's corn crop is grown in
Ontario, 28,000 Ontario grain farmers would suffer a significant drop
in their income. Instead, the ethanol industry has been an economic
boon to the agricultural sector by providing a robust and steady market
for rural communities across the country." Haig added
In addition to these benefits for farmers, ethanol has a huge
environmental payoff. According to both Canada's Ministry of Natural
Resources and the United States Department of Energy, using ethanol as
an automobile fuel produces 62 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions
compared to gasoline. As well, ethanol reduces every type of tailpipe
emission, including NOx and SOx, and is an important factor in reducing
smog over large cities.
A lesser known fact is that the smaller, lighter car engines with high
horsepower coming onto the market today require a higher-level octane
gasoline. The traditional way to increase octane is to boost the level
of aromatics in the fuel, specifically benzene, toluene and xylene. All
three of these compounds are carcinogenic. The alternative method of
increasing octane is to add ethanol, which has an octane of 114 and
delivers plenty of extra power. That's why Indy and NASCAR racers use
Connecting the dots, when these lighter and stronger engines consume
gasoline with ethanol, they not only consume less gasoline, they burn a
less toxic, renewable fuel.
The use of domestically grown ethanol as a fuel source also reduces
Canada's dependency on foreign energy imports, curtailing demand for
foreign-sourced gasoline in Ontario by almost 10 per cent, and
nationwide by 5 per cent.
The North American ethanol industry produces over 50 billion litres of
ethanol each year, and when added to the gasoline pool, lowers the
price of gasoline at the pump by about 10 cents a litre. An important
benefit in an era of rising prices at the pump.
"Canada's governments and governments around the world support ethanol
because it is clear that ethanol is good for the environment, for
Canadian farmers and consumers, and for the economy. These governments
know the facts." concludes Field.
About Canadian Renewable Fuels Association
Founded in 1984, the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) is a
non-profit organization with a mission to promote the use of renewable
fuels for transportation through consumer awareness and government
liaison activities. www.greenfuels.org
SOURCE Canadian Renewable Fuels Association
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