Letter Re: Switchgrass for Ethanol Production

Dear Jim,
I just discovered SurvivalBlog.com in November 2007. I have bought two of your books so far. We are working on our lists, in the meantime I am building FIFO shelving for the canned part of our provisions. We thank God for you, your great work, and The Memsahib’s support of this.

I’m not so sure this article will be a fit, but it is good news nevertheless. From Scientific American: Grass Makes Better Ethanol than Corn Does. The USDA and farmers took part in a five-year study of switchgrass, native to North America. They found that switchgrass ethanol can deliver around 540 percent of the energy used to produce it, as opposed to corn ethanol which can only yield around 124 percent. – BCW

JWR Replies: Switchgrass does seem more viable for ethanol production than corn, because of it his high EROEI ratio. I am hopeful that an ethanol production and distribution infrastructure will be assembled in the US in the next three or four years. OBTW, I highly recommend that every SurvivalBlog reader own at least one “Flex Fuel” vehicle that is E85 ethanol compatible. Make that a high priority the next time you buy a new car or truck. Even if there is not yet E85 available in your area, plan ahead for when it will be. Someday, you may be glad that you did.