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Posted: 9/7/2004 12:00:42 PM EST
Just wondering if theres any Peak Oilists here? If so where do you stand? Hard collapse, soft collapse or technology to the resue?
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:05:40 PM EST
Anything supported by Noam Chomsky is extremely suspect.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:06:21 PM EST
Not in this lifetime.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:06:56 PM EST
It's not a theory. It is a finite resource, and will indeed peak. When is the only debate, and as for me, I think it'll be a soft collapse, with technology slowly to the rescue. As soon as it is CLEARLY identified as waning, expect usurous prices, though.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:07:44 PM EST
From an atheistic existentialist?
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:08:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By KBaker:
Anything supported by Noam Chomsky is extremely suspect.



Its supported by far more people then that.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:10:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Camp_Ninja:
It's not a theory. It is a finite resource, and will indeed peak. When is the only debate, and as for me, I think it'll be a soft collapse, with technology slowly to the rescue. As soon as it is CLEARLY identified as waning, expect usurous prices, though.



Really, are you sure? www.ncpa.org/edo/bb/2002/bb052902.html
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:12:35 PM EST

Not gonna happen. We will make the oil supply last well past our lifetimes, and if for some bizarre reason we suddenly run out, science will step up to the plate. Remember that as supply decreases, alternatives will become viable.

Interesting topic though, one I am quite interested in, and may make my living in.

Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:13:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By Diss_ipator:

Originally Posted By The_Camp_Ninja:
It's not a theory. It is a finite resource, and will indeed peak. When is the only debate, and as for me, I think it'll be a soft collapse, with technology slowly to the rescue. As soon as it is CLEARLY identified as waning, expect usurous prices, though.



Really, are you sure? www.ncpa.org/edo/bb/2002/bb052902.html



They arent refilling nearly as fast as were pumping is the problem.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:14:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Camp_Ninja:
It's not a theory. It is a finite resource, and will indeed peak. When is the only debate, and as for me, I think it'll be a soft collapse, with technology slowly to the rescue. As soon as it is CLEARLY identified as waning, expect usurous prices, though.

True, but by the time it does the cost to extract oil will have driven research to find an alternate source of energy.

The problem is that we've been hearing "There's only (X) more years of oil production available!" for decades, and we keep finding more (like in ANWR) and developing better and better ways to extract it (like the Canadian oil sands). And who knows? Maybe there really is a sh!tload of oil under the Gulf of Mexico.

"Peak Oil" is a lot of years off yet.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:16:00 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:16:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Diss_ipator:

Originally Posted By The_Camp_Ninja:
It's not a theory. It is a finite resource, and will indeed peak. When is the only debate, and as for me, I think it'll be a soft collapse, with technology slowly to the rescue. As soon as it is CLEARLY identified as waning, expect usurous prices, though.



Really, are you sure? www.ncpa.org/edo/bb/2002/bb052902.html



Yes, in fact I am quite sure. While I think there is LOTS and LOTS left, how could anyone proffer forht such a rediculous theory that it is infinite? This is impossible.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:16:19 PM EST
I feel a little embarassed that I haven't heard of it before. Anyone have a link to a good site describing it?
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:16:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 12:18:00 PM EST by Max_Mike]

Originally Posted By The_Camp_Ninja:
It's not a theory. It is a finite resource, and will indeed peak. When is the only debate, and as for me, I think it'll be a soft collapse, with technology slowly to the rescue. As soon as it is CLEARLY identified as waning, expect usurous prices, though.



No not really…

Actually it is a wide spread and growing belief the oil is a renewable resource that is generated by chemical process in the earths crust. Under the old dated theory we should have used up all the organic matter that could have produced oil years ago so it is coming from something other that dead organic matter.

There is no shortage of oil. We have a shortage of drilling and exploration the vast majority of the earths surface has NEVER been explored for oil.

But either way with know reserves and untapped know fields the supply is estimated at 400-800 years.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:16:42 PM EST
I remember my fifth grade teacher telling me that when I got my drivers license gas would be 10 bucks a gallon and that was 10 years ago.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:17:27 PM EST
I can remember 'experts' telling us in 1974 that all the worlds oil would have run out by 2000…

Still filling my tank with gas…

Andy
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:18:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 12:21:23 PM EST by Diss_ipator]

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By The_Camp_Ninja:
It's not a theory. It is a finite resource, and will indeed peak. When is the only debate, and as for me, I think it'll be a soft collapse, with technology slowly to the rescue. As soon as it is CLEARLY identified as waning, expect usurous prices, though.



No not really…

Actually it is a wide spread and growing belief the oil is a renewable resource that is generated by chemical process in the earths crust. Under the old dated theory we should have used up all the organic matter that could have produced oil years ago so it is coming from something other that dead organic matter.

There is no shortage of oil. We have a shortage of drilling and exploration the vast majority of the earths surface has NEVER been explored for oil.

But either way with know reserves and untapped know fields the supply is estimated at 400-800 years.



+1

Edit to add: Do you really think all the dinosaur shit settled into pools of oil instead of being scattered all through the earths layers?
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:20:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2004 12:20:59 PM EST by Sweep]
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:20:31 PM EST
I'm a believer, and think it will happen soon. OPEC lied about its oil reserves. The Saudi oil feidls are running a 50% water cut, most analysts predicted it to be at most in the 20-30% range. New discoveries arent nearly enough to meet demand (Its estimated Alaska has enough for 6 months to a year for AMERICA ALONE)
New technologies arent viable, as they dont produce enough oil to meet demand. Additionally, alternative energies arent currently cost effective, and require massive investments to gear up to any signifigant degree. And world demand is rising, whereas world production is falling. Even with new discoveries it a no win situation. New fields not only have to meet the rising demand, but ALSO offset the falling returns of old fields.

But dont get me wrong. I HOPE you guys are right. Peak Oil is one of those really scary situations when you think about it.
For those so intersted, theres some good reading
Here and Here
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:22:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By vito113:
I can remember 'experts' telling us in 1974 that all the worlds oil would have run out by 2000…

Still filling my tank with gas…

Andy



HA! that's what YOU think!!!
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:23:41 PM EST
There have been major advancements in Tertiary Oil Recovery technology, and there is advanced research going on right now all over the world in quaternary recovery. Estimates of future reserves are always based on current extraction/recovery technology. As those technologies develop, a concomitant expansion of reserve capacity is realized.

I, too, believe that the earth is making new oil all the time. Certainly not at the rate of current extraction or recovery, but nevertheless at some rate. I do not believe that fossil fuels are necessarily finite.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:24:45 PM EST
And by the way know oil reserves are at the highest level in history and going up.

There is no shortage of oil just a shortage of willingness to produce.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:27:52 PM EST

This thread makes me feel good. I think I'm going to go fill up my tank.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:27:52 PM EST
Never forget that the Germans ran an entire World War on synthetic fuels.

If need be, we can do it again. At the moment, oil is cheaper.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:28:58 PM EST
And then there are the new discoveries like this.

www.enn.com/news/2004-08-31/s_26777.asp
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:36:52 PM EST
thats why i pour mine out on the ground...so it goes back where it came from...


just joking.

but i've seen way too many wells that were p&a'ed (plugged and abondoned) in the belief that they were depleted, then opened up years later and re-frac'ed (fractured, a process in which the area of the perferations is pressured up to the point of the formation cracking, allowing oil to seep through over a larger area), or recompleted altogether, and lo and behold they were as good or better than before.(dad worked in the oil biddness his whole life, and i did for a while before the military.
we might use it at a rate faster than it's produced, but it's not just going to go away.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:37:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By AlphaBobRI:
Never forget that the Germans ran an entire World War on synthetic fuels.

If need be, we can do it again. At the moment, oil is cheaper.



Um... but they lost.

And yeah, they did use quite a lot of synthetic oil, BUT not all of it. Most of their oil they stole from Romania.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:43:28 PM EST
This peak oil theory is a bunch of bull from the same guys that brought you global warming. The fact that some oil fields are being recharged from below has been known for decades. Have you ever seen the pictures of the oil slicks in the gulf of mexico? These are natural slicks from oil seeping from the bottom. Did you know that more oil seeps into the water from offshore california than is actually produced in california? You still think we are running out? The only thing we are running out of is easy and cheap places to drill. The east texas sized fields are not found within easy reach of refining facilities these days. These days they are found in 10-12 thousand feet of water, or in iceberg alley. Not easy places to drill, but technology is making it easier to drill there.

How about methane hydrate? There are lakes of it laying on the bottom of the ocean. One day we will figure out a way to use this.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:56:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
Um... but they lost.

And yeah, they did use quite a lot of synthetic oil, BUT not all of it. Most of their oil they stole from Romania.



Actually, the concentrated bombing of synthetic oil production facilities a few months before D-Day had a bunch to do with their loss, not the use of synthetic oil.

By the way, "The rich oil fields of Ploesti in Romania supplied one third of the oil the Germans used" That is quite a bit, but not 'most' of it.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 12:56:50 PM EST
It's always been my belief, founded on nothing other than intuition, that there weren't enought dead dinosaurs and plants to fuel the world for three weeks, let alone the hundred years it's run so far. Too much stuff would have to die in to localized a place for that to happen.

And if decaying stuff was the source of oil, why the hell aren't we dumping dead bodies and grass clippings and sewage and dead leaves into tanks and pumping out gas in a couple years?!


My hunch is that it's a byproduct of something deep within the crust, something like the magma getting pressured by the plates and boiling out a byproduct that collects in pockets of oil. I think we're getting squeezed by a monopy that won't produce enough to drop the price.

I'm not that worried about it cause as soon as we collectively decide we've had enough, we'll scatter small closet sized nuclear reactors all over the place and very very cheap electrical power. Good to go.

So let's hurry up and get the small cheap safe nuc plants going and tell the Arabs to screw themselves.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 1:19:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
It's always been my belief, founded on nothing other than intuition, that there weren't enought dead dinosaurs and plants to fuel the world for three weeks, let alone the hundred years it's run so far. Too much stuff would have to die in to localized a place for that to happen.

And if decaying stuff was the source of oil, why the hell aren't we dumping dead bodies and grass clippings and sewage and dead leaves into tanks and pumping out gas in a couple years?!


My hunch is that it's a byproduct of something deep within the crust, something like the magma getting pressured by the plates and boiling out a byproduct that collects in pockets of oil. I think we're getting squeezed by a monopy that won't produce enough to drop the price.

I'm not that worried about it cause as soon as we collectively decide we've had enough, we'll scatter small closet sized nuclear reactors all over the place and very very cheap electrical power. Good to go.

So let's hurry up and get the small cheap safe nuc plants going and tell the Arabs to screw themselves.



Be quiet, otherwise we'll have to revise ALL those "science" books that teach us how dinosaurs turned into oil.
Link Posted: 9/7/2004 1:24:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 12:56:56 AM EST
Electric vehicles aren't the answer.

Hydrogen definitely isn't the answer.

Ethanol is the answer:

WHY GASOLINE IN THE UNITED STATES WILL ALWAYS BE CHEAP
—UNLESS THE FAMILY FARM CAN BE DESTROYED FIRST


by Mike Brown

Every time there is a gasoline shortage there is talk of gasoline going to $3.00 a gallon, $4.00 a gallon and beyond. Notice that it never happens.

Some of you may remember that, in the 1950s, gasoline sold for as little as 19 cents a gallon. Corn at the time was around $3.00 a bushel.

Today gasoline hovers between $1.00 and $2.00 a gallon. Corn is still around $3.00 a bushel.

What is the correlation?

Corn can be processed to yield 2½ gallons of alcohol per bushel. Alcohol can be used in place of gasoline—pure alcohol, not "gasohol." The remainder of the bushel yields 18 pounds of distiller’s dried grains—a high-quality cattle feed. The balance of the bushel consists of carbon dioxide, which can be converted to dry ice, foam for fire extinguishers, and the like.

Alcohol has two drawbacks other than cost.

First, alcohol will not start in a standard compression gasoline engine under 20° F.

Second, the energy in a gallon of alcohol is only two-thirds of that contained in a gallon of gasoline. The reason for this is that alcohol, by weight, is one third oxidized (already burned) oxygen. For example, it takes 3 gallons of alcohol to equal the energy of 2 gallons of gasoline and 1 gallon of water (which has no energy).

In practical terms, a vehicle that gets 15 mpg on gasoline will go only 10 mpg on alcohol. If you raise the compression, you increase the mileage. For example, if you double the compression, you increase the mileage fifty per cent (50%).

For example, if you raised a 10-mpg alcohol-fueled vehicle from 8 to 1 compression to 16 to 1 compression, your mileage would increase to 15 mpg. However, you can’t raise alcohol compression to 16 to 1. 14 to 1 is the maximum. I.e., 3.75 is the increase you will achieve with 14 to 1 compression, or 13.75 mpg.

Now let’s compare our 15 mpg gas engine with our 13.75 mpg alcohol engine when gasoline is $3.00 a gallon. Let’s take a fuel tank that holds 25 gallons.

Your gasoline tank fill-up will cost $75.00 and take you 375 miles down the road.

Your alcohol tank, in price of raw materials will cost you $30.00 (corn at $3.00 a bushel) and take you 343.75 miles down the road (assuming 14 to 1 compression). Notice that the cost of the gasoline is 2½ times that of corn to go less than 10% further.

We are, of course, not counting the cost of processing the corn nor are we counting the value of the by-products. In short, $3.00 a gallon gasoline simply cannot compete with $3.00 a bushel corn. The minute gasoline goes to $3.00 a gallon, the value of a bushel of corn exceeds $6.00. That is, provided the farmers are there to provide it. We’ve lost over 75% of them in the last thirty years.

Don’t look for the large multinational corporations to do this. Too many of them are vulnerable to hostile takeovers and do not have the equipment to convert enough facilities in time. It would take tens of thousands of small farmers using 55-gallon drums and parts from the local plumbing store starting up overnight.

There are, of course, other solutions, such as hydrogen from water and the like. Or are there?

Have you noticed that none of these "hydrogen from water extracted by solar cells or wind generation" characters ever have a working model? It’s just talk. You can’t run a vehicle on hot air.

The photos with this article demonstrate a working model of a dual-fuel unit we installed in a 1975 Chevy Suburban. We could convert from gasoline to alcohol in two seconds from controls on the dashboard. We built this unit in 1979.

Note the photo taken in 1979 with a Briggs & Stratton engine on a dynamometer at Berea College. You can create your own working model with one of these engines.

Simply get it running on gasoline. Empty the fuel tank of gas. Pour in a pint of 190 proof Everclear from the local liquor store. Turn the needle valve of the carburetor out 2½ turns. Fire it up. Smell the exhaust. It’s running on alcohol. If the needle valve drips fuel, you have it too far out. If it won’t run, you have it too far in.

The last photo is of a Japanese Zero at the EAA flyin at Oshkosh, Wisconsin taken in July 1979. When our Marines captured the Japanese airfield at Guadalcanal during World War II, they found drums marked, in Japanese, "Aviation Fuel."

It was ethyl alcohol made from rice.

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 12:57:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 12:59:03 AM EST by PeteCO]
Ethanol Nation
or How the United States Can Become Independent of Petroleum Products in Three Years


On the other end of the spectrum from the "all we have to do is pull hydrogen out of the water with wind generators and solar stills and use it in our automobiles" crowd is a group of people equally ignorant: the naysayers. There are always people who will tell you that, "it can’t be done" or "it isn’t practical."

David Pimentel, a professor of ecology and agricultural science at Cornell University, is one of these characters. Professor Pimentel has published a report that says producing ethanol is more trouble than it’s worth: 129,600 British thermal units of energy are required to produce one gallon of ethanol, but a gallon will only give you 76,000 Btus of fuel energy. In other words, producing ethanol results in a net loss of energy. The report can be found in the newsletter of the M. King Hubbert Center for Petroleum Supply Studies #98/2. Notice he isn’t "shilling" for the Center for Ethanol Research.

There are a couple of problems with this line of reasoning.

The first is that ethanol isn’t produced by using other ethanol. In the big distilleries, it’s produced by using natural gas as a heat source. On the farm, it’s produced by burning wood, corncobs, corn stover, and the like. You can’t take a corncob, convert it to Btus, and run it in your car (unless your car has a steam engine set up with a solid fuel boiler). When a college professor makes a statement this asinine, you have to wonder if he is aware of what hillbillies use corncobs for. Does his Ph.D. stand for "piled higher and deeper"?

Have you ever met or even heard of someone making ethanol who really cared how many Btus to the twig he was getting as he shoved them into the furnace? It takes heat to convert corn to alcohol. That heat can come from any burning solid.

The second problem this line of reasoning creates is that it ignores the First Law of Thermodynamics. That law is expressed as, Energy = Heat & Work. For example, 100,000 Btus of energy, if used in an engine that is 25% efficient, will result in 25,000 Btus of energy being used to do work and 75,000 Btus escaping as heat.

Professor Pimentel Pinkhands (all theory, no practical experience, no dirt or grease under his fingernails) overlooks the energy expended in manufacturing the tools and equipment necessary for oil production, let alone the energy expended in exploration, drilling, transportation, refining, distribution, and the like.

We are not even counting the cost of keeping soldiers all over the world in order to insure a steady supply.

The next question is how practical is it to convert from an oil-based economy running on gasoline and diesel fuel to one running on ethanol?

Let’s start with the numbers.

In the year 2000 Americans consumed 125,720,000,000 gallons of gasoline and 36,979,200,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Rounding off the figures for 2002, gasoline consumption was 131 billion gallons and diesel fuel consumption was 39 billion gallons. Given the current population, that’s slightly less than 1.5 gallons per person per day for gasoline.

Ethanol production at it’s highest ever was 2 billion gallons in 2002. That’s roughly 7 gallons per year per person. How do we go from 7 gallons per year to 1.5 gallon per day per person?

In the year 2000 there were 9,915,051,000 bushels of corn produced in the United States. Rounding off the production figures, 7 billion went to feed livestock. The remaining 3 billion went for other uses including exports. Assuming we could convert 10 billion bushels of corn to ethanol at the standard rate of 2.5 gallons per bushel, that would be 25 billion gallons of ethanol annually. That’s only 89 gallons of motor fuel annually per person, or one-fourth gallon per person per day.

Our livestock wouldn’t starve with this program. After you distill the alcohol from the corn, you wind up with distillers dried grains (DDG). Essentially, it is the starch portion (about 70%) of the corn kernel that is converted into ethanol. All the remaining nutrients in corn, such as the protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins are concentrated and come in the form of distillers grains, which can be fed to livestock wet or dry. Sometimes the liquid that is separated from the mash is partially dehydrated into a syrup and added back into the distillers grains which creates a product called distillers dried grains with soluble (DDGS). A bushel of corn, which weighs 56 pounds, will produce 17 pounds of DDG and 2.5 gallons of ethanol.

For cattle, you simply grind up corncobs and slop the DDG over them.

The question is, how do we go from enough corn production to increase the alcohol availability six times, from 10 billion bushels of corn a year to 60 billion bushels a year, in order to insure enough ethanol to meet our current domestic fuel needs?

The first, and most obvious way, is to increase corn production. As of the year 2,000 there were 2,172,289 farms in the United States, with a combined acreage of 943,090,000 acres. As long ago as 1890 corn yield was 40 bushels an acre. Today, the yield varies between 100 and 150 bushels.

Many farms outdo the average yield. In 2002 the winner of the National Corn Yield Contest was Francis Childs of Manchester, Iowa who set a new record of 442.14 bushels per acre. The previous record was from Childs in 2001 with a yield of 408.2 bushels per acre. Others in the competition had yields in the range of 200-300 bushels per acre.

Rounding off the farm acreage to 900 million, let’s see what we get. If all this acreage were in corn, we would have 90 billion bushels of corn, which could be converted to 225 billion gallons of alcohol fuel, as compared with the 125 billion gallons of gasoline we use now.

That’s about 100 billion gallons of ethanol we don’t really need. However, not all American farmland is suitable for corn production. It would only take two-thirds of the presently existing farmland.

Even if we couldn’t use existing farmland, we could still convert to 100% ethanol use. There are a couple of problems we would have to overcome first.

The Problems

First, farming in this day and age is not always a profitable business. Oil production, by contrast is. Foreign imports and controlled markets drive the price down.

Second, there are a lot fewer farms now than we once had. When the Republic was founded prior to 1800, of the 3 million people in the United States, 90% of them were subsistence farmers. In 1900 there were 76,212,168 people in the United States (U.S. Census) but only 5, 610,983 farms. By the year 2000, we had over 280 million people but only 2,172,280 farms. In the period 1991 to 2001 farm acreage has declined from 981,736,000 to 941,210,000 acres, or 4 %. At this rate, in another 100 years, there will be no farm acreage left in the United States.

The Solutions

First, forget about the Government doing anything. If the Government gave corn-growing alcohol producing farmers the same subsidies ("corporate welfare") it gives the oil companies, corn production would expand six-fold in a year. Reform has to come from the bottom up, not the top down. For example, one man I talked to recently drives 150 miles to pick up a 55-gallon drum of alcohol that costs him $2.00 a gallon to run in his Volkswagen Bus and his Ford Explorer. The reason? He wants to do his part to cut down pollution.

Enough people like him would definitely lessen pollution. You’ve heard of oil spills. Have you ever heard of an ethanol spill?

Second, corn isn’t the only farm product you can make fuel from. Every soybean bushel will yield a gallon of diesel fuel. It’s actually easier to make than ethanol. The leftovers are a high-quality cattle feed.

Any fruit can be turned into ethanol. It’s easier than corn.

Supposedly, we have a manure glut from cattle, hogs, chickens, and turkeys. For 1997, the "glut" was 1.36 billion tons.

However, according to a Report On Pyrolysis, Bureau of Mines 7560 (1971) done in Philadelphia, with a tabletop model, 2,000 pounds of cow manure can be turned into 800 pounds of crude oil (you have to add carbon monoxide or hydrogen gas) under high temperatures and pressure in 30 minutes.

That is, we have the expertise, we have the land, we have the people, and we have the raw materials necessary to get off petroleum dependence. What we do not seem to have is the energy to get off our collective butts and get the job done.

Ironically, in 1962 a man named Donald Despain authored a book titled "The One and Only Solution to the Farm Problem," describing how allowing farmers a piece of the fuel production pie would keep our farmers solvent. That problem has now become everyone’s problem, not just the farmers.

How difficult and time-consuming would this be?

Let me use one example. Let’s say we had to replace one-third of our domestic gasoline consumption with alcohol as quickly as possible.

The time for a simple farmer to set up 100 55-gallon drums to produce 250 gallons of alcohol with a pipe full of rocks as a fractionating column to produce 190 proof (95%) alcohol is one day.

The time to ferment is three days.

The time to distill is one day.

That is, we could drop our dependence on gasoline by one-third in one week. In three years, we could end our dependence on petroleum forever.

...from www.mikebrownsolutions.com/aeindex.htm
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 3:59:59 AM EST
Nice solution (corn-ethanol), except for 2 problems:

1. Corn cannot be grown in most farm regions of the country (the great plains and south of NE/KS, because of soil type and sub-surface irrigation. Here is OK you can grow it, but only with center-pivot irrigation, which greatly increases the cost and water usage.

2. Corn (and other crops for that matter) have such high yields due to the application of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer NH3. NH3 is maunfactured from natural gas. Assuming natural gas supplies dwindled as well, no more fertilizer.

Partial solution to #1 & 2 - They are working on a beardless barley (think wheat) that can be grown in a greater range of soil types and climates, and does not require as much fertilizer. Yields of ethanol are supposedly good.


Food for thought
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 4:15:40 AM EST
If you are looking at alternative energy sources, there is a company that has a pilot project at a turkey processing plant outside of St. Louis, that is turning turkey guts into fuel oil. There is also bio-diesel, that is diesel fuel made from vegetable oil. You can do this in your back yard. If you got a buddy that works at McDonalds, you can run your diesel on this. The nice thing about this is there are no taxes on the fuel.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 4:31:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 4:48:28 AM EST by PeteCO]
Actually, it's even better to run on pure waste vegetable oil, filtered. That way you are not messing with the methanol and hydroxide from making bio-d. Generally requires an inline-style injection pump and/or pre-heating of the oil.

Corn is not even the best crop for making ethanol. Jerusalem artichokes, sweer sorghum, sugar beets, wheat, rice, carrots, hell even potatoes can be used. I have also recently heard of some enzyme development making grass clippings a viable stock for ethanol production.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 4:47:43 AM EST
Sounds like the perfect entrepreneurial opportunity for someone with some money to invest.

To bad I don’t have the extra cash and time to do it myself. In urban areas it could be marketed towards the eco-friendly greenies and the way to get off of oil like they enjoy screaming. For the city dweller who does not drive more than a few miles away from home.

Be interesting if we could force the .gov to implement a gasoline-free vehicle policy. I think there are more .gov registered vehicles in Jefferson County, KY than there are owned and operated by private citizens. Not sure if I’d enjoy the tax bill that such a program would require. Though I would like to see ethonal refineries ‘crop’ up everywhere.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 4:53:03 AM EST
We have an E85 station nearby in Greeley, but public awareness is quite low. There are lots of flex-fuel vehicles out there too, but even I didn't know that my 2002 Chvy truck was flex-fuel until I saw it on the E85.org website. Truck runs just fine on E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) but it's not much cheaper than gasoline, about $1.80 per gallon out here, compared to $1.85 for unleaded 85 octane. Especially since I have to drive 35 miles........I usually only get it when I happen to be in Greeley.

One item of note, is that the Poudre Valley Farmer's Co-op here sells biodiesel, brought up from a co-op in Boulder (greenie-weenie central).
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 5:01:05 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 5:26:57 AM EST
- A hydrocarbon
- Shit that I fry rice in
- Stuff I oil up my lady with before I, uh, nevermind
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