The energy return on grain ethanol is very low. Published studies put this number at around 1.3, but the return for fossil fuels in and ethanol out averages less than 1.1. Animal feed byproduct that is given a BTU value pushes the EROEI up to 1.3. Therefore, for 1 BTU of energy expended, less than 1.1 BTUs of ethanol can be produced, along with an additional 0.2 BTUs of animal feed. The net is then 0.3 BTUs with the byproduct credit, or about 1/17th of the fossil fuel net.It takes virtually as much energy to create corn ethanol as it returns. Other than making Senator Grassley happy and subsidizing corn growers, making ethanol from corn is just not worth it. The Brazilians have the better idea of making ethanol from sugar, which yields much more energy and is sustainable. But unfortunately, folks like ADM have the government by the short hairs preventing such common sense.
I'm a very lucky person with every allergy known to man but still happy to be enjoying a wonderful life living in the best place in the world!