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Old 05-23-2008, 12:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Corn ethanol is bad for the environment.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/08/sc...=1&oref=slogin

Bad for the economy.

http://www.american.com/archive/2008...anol-subsidies
http://www.usnews.com/articles/busin...op-prices.html

Bad for FE.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/c...anol_ov1_1.htm
Quote:
Originally Posted by pro ethanol site
Q: How does ethanol affect gas mileage?
A:While there are many variables that affect fuel economy (weather, car condition, road grade, tire pressure, air conditioner use, etc.), studies indicate that fuel economy with ethanol-enriched fuels may decrease, but not likely with E10. E85 has approximately 27% less energy then gasoline, but fuel economy loss varies between 10 to 25%.
http://www.drivingethanol.org/ethano...questions.aspx

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Old 05-23-2008, 11:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bror Jace View Post
"Corn producers or ethanol producers, to whom are you referring?"

I was referring to corn farmers that sell their crop to produce ethanol.

Ok, RE farmers, now what are they going to do to ethanol?

"In what way is that farm bill ridiculous?"

Farmers are having a record year. Taxing citizens to pay farmers subsidies when they are doing better than they ever have is ridiculous (subsidies in general are economically inefficient ... should be used as a last resort to keep producers afloat, etc ...).

Glad you brought this up, even Washington doesn't know what's going on. Prices are high because there is nothing to sell! The 2008 crop was contracted over a year ago at what appeared to be a good price. Since then commodity prices have gone up 75%. This forced all grain elevators to stop contracting any grain because they could not pay their margin calls. In the mean time many ag inputs (fertilizer, fuel, etc,) have gone up over 100%. So now farmers are caught, nothing on hand to sell, no way to forward contract and lockin these high prices, huge bills from buying inputs this spring, unable to plant because of the wet weather (only 51% corn planted as of Tuesday). Now the next dilema is if they have a short crop, they will have to buy commodities back at the inflated price to deliver on their contracts at a 75% loss. This all together could have global impact.

The cost of the farm bill is spread over many years, not one year.

Energy is only part of the cost of combustion, how do you pay for the oxygen you use? Farmers raise crops which turn CO2, H2O into, of course, O2 and eatable carbon. How can we pay people to make oxygen? Maybe if we put a price floor under them so they don't go out business, they will keep doing it for free. Let's hope so.

"Switchgrass grows well in a tropical climate?"

I have no idea. I thought I'd toss it out there for discussion. Maybe it could use its own thread? Maybe I should have searched here for "switchgrass" first?

Each crop requires different equipment attachments, and besides corn stalks can be used for bio-ethanol.

"Fuel economy in what units? Btu's per mile? $ per mile?"

I was calculating MPGs. I suppose $ per mile is just another conversion factor from that figure. No idea how to arrive at BTUs per mile without doing some research first. ... just hadn't occurred to me.
Energy will be priced by heat units eventually, that is still shakin' out, but it has to happen.

Last edited by diesel_john; 05-24-2008 at 12:13 AM..
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihatejoefitz View Post
Corn ethanol is bad for the environment.
Compared to what, oil?
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/08/sc...=1&oref=slogin

Bad for the economy.
Compared to what, foreign oil?

http://www.american.com/archive/2008...anol-subsidies
http://www.usnews.com/articles/busin...op-prices.html

Bad for FE.
Ethanol will be priced per BTU. and MP$ will be the same as any other energy.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/c...anol_ov1_1.htm

http://www.drivingethanol.org/ethano...questions.aspx
I scanned these articles and all were spun to the max.

Any new source of energy is bad because people actually think, they can burn as much as they feel like.

Last edited by diesel_john; 05-23-2008 at 11:11 PM..
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Does anyone have any updates on where we are with cellulosic ethanol?
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think that some of the negative press on biofuels is because it can cut into the fossil fuel kings tax base. Many midwest states/provinces could become energy self sufficient if biofuels is done well. Right now I agree that how ethanol is produced is not a net benefit to anyone but the seed and fertilizer producers.

Biofuels do have the potential for people to become fossil fuel free. Currently I heat with my own wood, so the fossil fuel input is probably $40/year for the chainsaw and atv, this saves us maybe $1500-2000 per year in oil or propane or electricity. We do however spend about $3000/year (or more with current prices)on gas for the two cars, so if I can cut this down to near zero I would be very happy to watch oil prices be manipulated to infinity...

It seems using canola oil is the easiest way to get off the pipeline, diesel cars can be converted fairly cheaply and I don't have to build/learn how to operate a still, to create alcohol, plus tractors are mostly diesel too. Not many diesel chainsaws though...

Anyhow, I have quite a ways to go before we burn our own veggie oil in our cars but atleast I'm thinking about it.
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Legislation is already starting against wood burning in some states. You need to invent a way to extract the energy without creating smoke. Any ideas? This is a big one. Did you know you can heat wood in a chamber and burn the gas in an engine?

Last edited by diesel_john; 05-24-2008 at 12:09 AM..
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Corn ethanol is certainly not the best, but does have advantages.
The super negative info always assumes that Gasoline just appears, it does not, "production" of gasoline has a HUGE environmental impact in my area.
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Ethanol will never replace gasoline. While it can match gasoline's efficiency through increased compression, it cannot be produced in large enough quantities to sustain our current appetite and growing demand.

The race to biofuels is only going to lead to food competition and environmental degradation. If you enjoy the thought of rainforests, virgin deserts, and open coastlines you should plan your trip now. Man has a propensity of defecating on his own doorstep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel_john View Post
Any new source of energy is bad because people actually think, they can burn as much as they feel like.
I couldn't have summed up the issue any better myself. The solution isn't to switch from heroine to cocaine, it's to lose the addiction. Big Oil -> Big Agribusiness -> Big Electricity gets us nowhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel_john
Legislation is already starting against wood burning in some states. You need to invent a way to extract the energy without creating smoke. Any ideas? This is a big one. Did you know you can heat wood in a chamber and burn the gas in an engine?
I have two ideas: catalytic converter or masonry heater.

Smoke (i.e. particulate matter) only exists due to incomplete combustion. Most stoves or heaters burn wood at too low of a temperature to get anywhere near complete combustion.

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Originally Posted by dremd View Post
Corn ethanol is certainly not the best, but does have advantages.
The super negative info always assumes that Gasoline just appears, it does not, "production" of gasoline has a HUGE environmental impact in my area.
That growing black hole called the oceanic dead zone that expands every year in your backyard is not caused by oil...

I would easily guess that on an energy/pollution ratio, gasoline scores extremely high. The extraction, processing, and transportation of oil is among the most efficient of all forms of energy (~98% I believe). It is it's use that is inefficient. The oil sands may be changing that though...

- LostCause

Last edited by LostCause; 05-24-2008 at 10:13 PM..
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
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ethanol in brazil is produced by cutting down huge swaths of rainforest to grow it.A most foolish investment and temporary solution.

ethanol is very corrosive and will corrode metal pipes hence it must be transported by truck not pipeline.

ethanol is heavily subsidized in the usa and is driving up food prices dramatically in the supermarkets.

interesting catch 22 is how much more would gas be without the ethanol blending?Stop ethanol and food price goes down but gas goes up.What a predicament.I noticed quite a few people going slow like me at <55mph on the freeway here in LA.Have never noticed as many slow drivers here.
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:03 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostCause View Post
I would easily guess that on an energy/pollution ratio, gasoline scores extremely high. The extraction, processing, and transportation of oil is among the most efficient of all forms of energy (~98% I believe). It is it's use that is inefficient. The oil sands may be changing that though...

- LostCause
Try 80% for gasoline and 84% for diesel, and thats only extraction and refining.

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