... or has been .. for at least 3 years now. Who knew? "The report, authored by Iowa State University economist Paul Gallagher and others, showed that the entire U.S. ethanol industry had steadily improved its efficiency since the mid-1990s. Now, an average ethanol plant produces more than twice the energy than it consumes. But many Iowa plants, especially those in the western half of the state, are well above average. They have doubled that efficiency by producing four times the energy they consumed, the report found. These plants were at the top of the efficiency chart because they are close to ample corn supplies and livestock feeding operations, so it is efficient to market distillers grains for feed. The plants also have access to transportation infrastructure and end markets, especially along the I-35 and I-29 corridors. One contributor to ethanol efficiency has been the use of biotech corn called Enogen that was developed by Syngenta. Ethanol plants pay farmers a premium to raise the corn, which contains a transgene from a bacteria that produces alpha amylase, an enzyme that breaks down corn starch into sugar. That eliminates the need to add enzymes, as ethanol plants have traditional done. The Enogen technology was pioneered by Quad County Corn Processors in Galva and is now used in nearly 20 ethanol plants. Quad County has also adopted Cellerate, a collaboration between Syngenta and Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies process, which allows it to convert corn kernel fiber to ethanol and further increase efficiency. Corn oil extraction Another contributor to the efficiency gains has been the extraction of corn distillers oil by ethanol plants, according to Shaw and others. The oil, which takes relatively little energy to extract, can be sold as a feedstock for biodiesel. In addition, Shaw said, suppliers to the ethanol industry, such as yeast makers, have contributed to efficiency gains by developing specific products for ethanol makers. There is still plenty of room for the ethanol industry to increase efficiency and improve its energy balance, according to the USDA report. There is potential in using alternative fuel sources, such as biomass, and improved ways of marketing distillers grains to the livestock industry, the report said." Iowa’s ethanol plants consistently gaining in efficiency https://www.iowafarmbureau.com/Article/Iowas-ethanol-plants-consistently-gaining-in-efficiency /4 to 1???!!!!! Remember back in the day? ... I thought about 1.3 to 1(Energy Returned On Energy Invested) was all they were going to get out of corn ethanol (or any liquid biofuel, for that matter) // EROEI of 4 to 1 --- that would be a bit of a game changer (if true) would it not?