Corn Ethanol Strikes Again
Posted by jab12004 on April 8, 2009
Just when you thought that corn ethanol couldn’t be any worse for everyone but corn producers the environment, there is always some other way that it finds to outdo itself. Extending the Cure’s blog, a place that usually doesn’t write on biofuels, provides a great description of corn ethanol’s latest problem.
Evidently, unwanted bacteria cause problems in the production of ethanol, in addition to causing troublesome infections in humans and animals. Common bacteria present in corn mixes prevent the formation of ethanol, producing lactic acid instead. To forestall this development, ethanol producers use antibiotics in distilling ethanol, Forbes reports.”
These antibiotics along with antibiotic-resistant bacteria can find their way into one of the byproducts of the ethanol production process, dried distillers grains (DDGs), which in turn gets fed to livestock. The sale of DDGs is crucial for corn ethanol refiners because without it they would need higher government subsidies be operating in the red. Potential dangers from using DDGs might be the last nail in the coffin for the corn ethanol industry considering how screwed it already is.
can anyone say bailout?
Be sure to read the Extending the Cure post for more of the biology (not my forte) of using antibiotics and why this is a serious issue.