Corn for heat.
12/09/2005 03:51:00 PM | Author: baloghblog

Drudge makes it sound so desparate. Posted by Picasa


As US heating costs spiral to all-time highs, American homeowners are turning to burning corn in special stoves to reduce their energy bills. Sales of corn-burning stoves have tripled this year and distributors across the country have been sold out for weeks.

"We are actually taking deposits for products for next fall - it's all you can do," said Ed Hiscox, owner of furnace retailer Hiscox Sales and Service in Valparaiso, Indiana, in the middle of the US corn belt.

"We have customers from very high-end homes to people who are not really in any financial condition at all. It doesn't seem to make a difference - everyone has problems with gas prices."

Wait for it...

Undesser bought the corn stove about three years ago to help cut down on his propane bills for his sprawling 3,500 square foot home.

The fact that it looks great next to his handcrafted furniture and hunting trophies is just a bonus.

I don't know what the EROEI is for dried corn, but you'd have to imagine that there is a hell of a lot of petroleum products that go into the production of corn: Natural gas fertilizers, diesel tractors and harvesters. How is it that using corn can be cheaper? Is it the farm subsidies? I don't see how you should be able to heat your home with corn if the EROEI is negative. (EROEI = Energy Return On Energy Invested)
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On 6:17 PM , Liz Logan said...

Okay I read about this somewhere this year... I will do some poking around. I'm pretty sure it is positive if you are in a corn growing area... aren't cobs a waste product? But I will see if I can find you a citation.

On 6:06 PM , UNplanner said...

At least burning corn has a better EROEI than turning it into ethanol.

Corn stoves are a very very short term answer to a long term problem. Right now there is a monster surplus in corn, something that will no doubt change as fuel and fertilizers increase in cost.

On 1:24 AM , Liz Logan said...

I can't find what I was looking for about the EROEI of corn but I did find this recent report on the EROEI of ethanonal and other biodeisels. It's kind of depressing.