1. In the U.S. the biofuel ethanol used 40% of the corn produced, jacking up food prices.
2. If corn ethanol were to provide all the transport requirements, required would be a farm three times the size of the continental USA.
Ethanol is finally being recognized as a dumb decision, but, guess what, the next stage would be to dissociate and ferment cellulose to produce more ethanol, a time consuming, and, therefore, costly process. Nowhere in the article is it even hinted that the more efficient gasification and catalysis of biomass into methanol should be considered, where this alcohol would be directly used in a fuel cell, a technology that can take a car five times further than one powered by a lithium battery system. Methanol is the only liquid capable of being directly fed into a fuel cell without a reformer. Well, in the response section, the first question asked was why don't they ferment the biomass into methanol. Crazy!
But, you say, there is no direct methanol fuel cell for vehicles. Correct! Why? The Farm Lobby has effectively prevented the U.S. Department of Energy from developing this pathway for fear of affecting their ethanol boondoggle. I have a half dozen HuffPo's (articles in the Huffington Post) on just this issue. Here is the first one.
What a country! And we are the only supreme power on Planet Earth. Can you imagine where we would be if government was not broken, people worked together for the good of the whole and we had more sensible spending priorities?