Maize in Biofuels
Due to the rising cost of oil and gasoline from fossil fuels, maize can be used in making biofuels, such as ethanol. The corn crop in the US in 2007 was the most profitable ever for farmers because it could be sold to markets other than food markets. However, this has led to other problems, such as the rising cost of corn as food.
The fuel produced from maize is of lower quality and requires a special engine in a vehicle. You cannot use this alternative fuel in the regular cars sold on the market today. So while you save on fuel, you will also have to pay more for your car. Another problem you have to consider is whether or not the fuel you need is widely available in your area. Once it does become common, it is a cheaper fuel and is safer for the environment because it emits less carbon dioxide into the air than gasoline. It is also a renewable resource because the cornfields are replanted and harvested year after year.
When farmers grow tropical maize to be used as fuel, they do not have to use any nitrogen fertilizer. This is because this type of maize does not have any ears. The stalks require at least 10% less processing than regular maize, which cuts down the energy costs of making maize into biofuels. Regular corn has to be treated with enzymes to covert it into sugars that can be fermented in order to make ethanol. This is not the case with tropical maize because the stalks accumulate more sugar when there is less nitrogen present. Thus these stalks could become the oil wells of the future.