Approval Rating for Kudzu Ethanol Soars as Floods Cancel Corn Crops

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”Margaret Mead

Just recently on the Discovery Channel website, there was an article about using kudzu for making ethanol. This article gave another Approval for Kudzu as a Potential Biofuel and could be part of the biofuel solution to making America less dependent on oil.

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rowan Sage of the University of Toronto gathered samples of kudzu from different locations in the Southeastern United States at different times of the year to measure the carbohydrate content of the various parts on the plant including leaves, stems, vines and roots.

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Based on estimates completed by these researchers, kudzu could produce 2.2-3.5 tons of carbohydrate per acre or about 270 gallons per acre of ethanol. Corn will produce approximately 210-310 gallons of ethanol per acre. Sage commented in the article that “kudzu will not completely solve anybody’s energy crisis. but it certainly would be a useful supplement.” The most important factor in using kudzu to make ethanol is the harvesting of the plants in a economical process. The roots which are large can cause a problem with harvesting, but you don’t want to destroy the plant by removing all the roots. To balance the harvesting expense, Sage said, “the kudzu plant requires zero planting, fertilizer or irrigation costs.

Mr. Doug Mizell co-owner of Agro*Gas Industries says “this just confirms the direction of our company’s manufacture of Kudzunol, ethanol made from kudzu. Corn ethanol is just not the right crop to use for ethanol production due to the weather requirements and other factors. We are at the mercy of drought and excessive rains which cause flooding which eventually destroys the corn crop. This leads to immediate higher ethanol and corn prices, ethanol plants may shut down and current ethanol plants scheduled to be built in Nebraska have been put on hold. It is very difficult for even corn subsidies to overcome all of these factors. These problems are usually not associated with Kudzunol, the kudzu ethanol.”

This morning, the headlines in a Wall Street report states:

Wall Street Downgrades Ethanol and Corn Producers.

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SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Wall Street is growing concerned about the damage massive floods in Midwestern U.S. states will have on ethanol makers and corn refiners.

“In the last 10 days, the world has changed in the corn market with massive flooding causing irreparable damage to this year’s corn crop,” Citigroup analyst David Driscoll wrote in a note.

Citigroup’s Driscoll slapped a sell rating on ethanol producers BioFuel and VeraSun. He said that surging corn prices will hurt profits at both companies. Corn is the major raw material used to make ethanol, and prices for the grain have surged to record highs lately.

In addition, the analyst speculated that the rally in corn prices will force some small and midsized ethanol producers to shut down production at plants over the next few months. At least five ethanol plants have been shut down as costs to run the plants are far outweighing profits, according to Driscoll. He didn’t name the plants in his report.

America has got to develop alternate energy solutions, but this will not take place overnight. This year has proven that corn ethanol is not the best road to travel for producing ethanol in America. America’s Congress has already sold out to the corn ethanol lobbyists and it is time for the people of America to step forward and “Git-R-Done”. This is what is going to happen and is starting in Tennessee and other states.

Update on interview with Mr. Doug Mizell, co-owner of Agro*Gas Industries LLC.

On Tuesday, June 24, 2008, Chemically Green had the opportunity to create a video interview with Mr. Doug Mizell, co-founder of Agro*Gas Industries LLC and ask Doug questions concerning Kudzunol such as, How will kudzu be harvested? What makes kudzu a viable candidate for ethanol production? Why would we want to use kudzu instead of corn or soy to make ethanol? Just how environmentally friendly will be the start-up plant in Calhoun, Tn.? These questions will be answered in full along with other interesting comments and other questions too. Be sure to look for the video interview coming soon entitled: Doug Mizell, Why Kudzu?

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13 Responses to Approval Rating for Kudzu Ethanol Soars as Floods Cancel Corn Crops

  1. Dagny June 26, 2008 at 11:06 am #

    I hadn’t thought about Kudzu before, but seems to make sense as it’s more of a weed, grows like crazy without pesticides and fertilizers. Corn had problems way before the rains came. There aren’t enough corn crops to cover the amount of fuel needed as well as remaining a food staple. It was only a matter of time before we needed to find an alternative. Will be interesting to follow Kudzanol.

    Dagny
    http://www.onnotextiles.com
    organic apparel

  2. chemicallygreen.com June 27, 2008 at 9:18 am #

    @The Daily Five: Thanks for your comments and featuring us on your top 5 front page

  3. chemicallygreen.com June 27, 2008 at 9:33 am #

    @Myke’s Weblog: Thanks for the comments

  4. chemicallygreen.com June 27, 2008 at 9:42 am #

    @Dagny: Thanks for the comments. If kudzu ethanol works out like I think it will, then there is merit with this process. Also, this project is being done with private funds without government subsidizing.

    The video interview with Mr. Doug Mizell, co-founder of Agro*Gas Industries, LLC. will be posted shortly. Believe me, this project is for real. It is not a scam like corn ethanol. Time will tell, but it gonna take projects like this to break the chains of America’s oil addiction.

  5. chemicallygreen.com June 27, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    @Dagny: Thanks for the comments. Clothing too. Time will tell. Corn is being used for clothing and biodegradable plastic bottles. Think the government is paying kickbacks for these processes? If you get hungry, you can eat your clothes and wash it down with a plastic bottle.

  6. MichelleBennett June 27, 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    If we harvest all the kudzu, all the hardworking goats in our neighborhood will be out of a job. Which invasive species will we feed them then? Won’t someone think about our nation’s kids?

    But seriously, I think it would be great if we could harvest all the tree-eating scourge and send it to an ethanol plant. Just don’t plant any more of “the vine that ate the south”!!

  7. chemicallygreen.com June 28, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    @Michelle Bennett: Thanks for your comments. When the kudzu ethanol project gets up to full steam, a lot of kudzu is going to disappear.

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

    Don’t forget to watch for the video interview with Mr.Doug Mizell of Agro*Gas Industries LLC, Why Kudzu?
    Doug is converting kudzu to ethano and his product is called: KUDZUNOL. The interview will be publised shortly.

  8. chemicallygreen.com June 30, 2008 at 4:28 pm #

    @The Daily Five: Sunday, 29, 2008 Ecotech Daily:
    thanks again for your comments and featuring this post on the Daily Five, 2 times in 1 week.

  9. Eddie November 24, 2008 at 2:57 am #

    About a decade ago Biofuels were a valid alternative step towards cleaner fuels. To promote biofuel at this stage, kudzu or not, is something only farmers and refineries would do. There is an impeding food crisis along with several other reasons why cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels are not sustainable (note: although this article mentions corn most of the points it raises are valid for any cellulosic ethanol crop.)

    Eddie
    *Organic Clothing by Wholesum*

  10. ecolarry December 19, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    Corn provides starch to make sugar which is fermented into alcohol. It is not a cellulosic alcohol. Cellulosic alcohol is produced from the sugars that released by breaking down (hydrolyzing)the polymeric cellulose. This requires either specialized enzymes or strong mineral acids. Of course, the fibrous material in corn is mostly cellulose and could be converted if anyone gets a commercially viable process going for cellulose.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Daily Five: Thursday, 26 June, 2008 | EcoTech Daily - June 26, 2008

    [...] Approval Rating for Kudzu Ethanol Soars as Floods Cancel Corn Crops: With flood related crop failures in the American Midwest, ethanol production is not likely to pace international demand in 2008. That’s turning the heat up on cellulosic ethanol conversion based on non-food organic stocks such as kudzu. Native to China and eastern Asia, kudzu has established itself as a persistent invasive species in the southeastern United States. It’s the kudzu plant’s robustness which makes it attractive as an ethanol stock, requiring little cultivation and exhibiting resistance to pests and weather extremes. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Toronto estimate kudzu could potentially produce 270 gallons of ethanol per acre — on par with corn, but requiring fewer resources. (Chemically Green) [...]

  2. Myke's Weblog - June 26, 2008

    Kudzunol: Ethanol made from Kudzu…

    An energy source from the rural South? Let’s hope it works out better than corn ethanol. Link: Approval Rating for Kudzu Ethanol Soars as Floods Cancel Corn Crops. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rowan Sage of the…

  3. The Daily Five: Sunday, 29 June, 2008 | EcoTech Daily - June 29, 2008

    [...] Approval Rating for Kudzu Ethanol Soars as Floods Cancel Corn Crops: With flood related crop failures in the American Midwest, ethanol production is not likely to pace international demand in 2008. That’s turning the heat up on cellulosic ethanol conversion based on non-food organic stocks such as kudzu. Native to China and eastern Asia, kudzu has established itself as a persistent invasive species in the southeastern United States. It’s the kudzu plant’s robustness which makes it attractive as an ethanol stock, requiring little cultivation and exhibiting resistance to pests and weather extremes. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Toronto estimate kudzu could potentially produce 270 gallons of ethanol per acre — on par with corn, but requiring fewer resources. (Chemically Green)  – Thursday, 26 June [...]

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