The transportation cost does eat into the production. However, since agriculture now drives ethanol production facilities, I doubt the concept of a collective terminal to drive a pipeline is even practical due to the regional nature of agriculture. Also be aware that all alternative fuels are more sensitive to water contamination than diesel & that is particularly true of ethanol.
Coal is the most abundant resource we have in the US for energy. There is a process that can "gasify" coal, however, it too requires energy & lots more than ethanol. As this is applied toward the energy in/energy out debate, this is another trade off. As oil heads to $100/barrel, it is becoming economically feasible to gasify coal. There are also oil sands which is a working concept but mainly up in Canada. On the upside for coal & rail transport, Virginia Southern railroad operates to mainly supply coal to the cogen plant in Clarksville, since the demise of both Russell Stover & Burlington. I know that corn hoppers would be a new source of revenue for them & would preserve an efficient means of transportation in our region.
As Stephan has said, I too welcome anyone who wants to debate the facts as we discover them. My mind is not closed but I can only speak for me. As long as disinformation & emotion stay out of the debate, we all walk away the wiser. However, it seems to me that the only flourishing economy in this area right now is the underground economy of campaign signs for the NIMBYs & political hacks. Perhaps after the election, the paper & plastic recycling markets will rise in value?
<quoted text>ethanol delivers 30 percent fewer miles a gallon than gasoline. since the us has no major pipelines for ethanol,transportation by truck,rail,or barge drives up the price.most ethanol plants burn natural gas or,increasingly,coal to create the steam that drives the distillation.the amount of fossil energy used to make ethanol versus the energy it produces suggest that ethanol is a losers game.should i go on?