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Posted: 2/4/2006 7:17:31 PM EDT
In the State of the Union address President Bush said he would push to fund technology to get ethanol from switchgrass and wood. Right now ethanol comes primarly from corn and most of the detractors say it takes more fuel to produce the corn than you get back in ethanol. I've done the research and using real numbers coming from the farming community that is not true. Those who claim it is true all use the stats from a professor who probably had his foreign grad student do the research. Anyway, let's suppose the detractors are right. A study done at Berkely, which also claims corn has a net negative energy balance when converted to ethanol also said that so does switchgrass and wood. Not only do they both have a net negative energy balance but they have a larger negative energy balance compared to corn.

So the question is, is Bush really trying to save us? Or is he just taking us on a wild goose chase to keep our attention away from the oil problem?

Drill the artic already Mr. Bush, do something that will benefit the American people for a change.

Link Posted: 2/4/2006 7:21:58 PM EDT
ethanol is nothing more than a way to buy votes and reward lobbyists who pad the campagin coffers of lobbyists.

We have a way to "reduce our dependence on foreign oil". It's called domestic drilling! Hearing that crap in his SOTU was just annoying as hell.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 7:26:53 PM EDT
Wouldn't it be cheaper in the long run to just invade a piss-ant anti-American country and develop their energy reserves?
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 7:53:52 PM EDT
The Energy Department published a paper that states that ethanol production yields more product than consumed - 30%, I think is what they claim.

Subsidies of ethanol cost through farm subsidy and tax reduction at the pump are a different issue than production efficiency.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 7:59:53 PM EDT
ethanol is an energy sink. i disagree with the DoE's numbers.

if we really want to use biomass for fuel, we should burn it in power plants and use it to generate electricity. not fermenting it and then wasting massive amounts of energy distilling it to the high purity required to run it in an automobile engine.

ethanol is for drinking, not for fuel.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 8:05:25 PM EDT
Burn their's first. They are getting our money now, we'll get it all back and more later.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 8:07:33 PM EDT
I believe the difference is that the corn would be grown specifically for production of ethanol. This, as you stated would result in a net energy loss.

However, I think the using wood and switch grass would be from byproducts off of an existing process. Simply put, the wood shavings and saw dust would be used to produce the ethanol. They would not be cutting trees specifically to produce ethanol.

I could be way off, but I think this is correct.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 8:21:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:
ethanol is an energy sink. i disagree with the DoE's numbers.



Do you have research to back up your opinion? I went out and did my own research on how much it cost to farm an acre of corn, how much corn would come from that acrea, how much it would take to process it into ethanol and on good midwest soil producing ethanol had a positive energy outcome.

Here are the numbers that came from a "professor".


An acre of U.S. corn yields about 7,110 pounds of corn for processing into 328 gallons of ethanol. But planting, growing and harvesting that much corn requires about 140 gallons of fossil fuels and costs $347 per acre.


Anyone that knows anything about farming would laugh at the claim it takes 140 gallons of fuel to grow and harvest 1 acre of corn. That number 10 times to high. In the standard middle income subdivision the standard lot is .3 acres. So put your house and the neighbors on each side of you together, then estimate how long it would take a tractor to go back and forth over that area 6 times. Tractors aren't the most fuel effiecent vehicles but there is no way it would take anywhere close to 140 gallons of fuel to cover such a small area.

There are many farming sites out there with estimations how long and how much fuel it takes for certain crops. The real life numbers are in sharp contradiction to the professors numbers.


Link Posted: 2/4/2006 8:25:22 PM EDT
You don't get ethanol from grasses and wood. You get METHANOL. It takes sugars and starches to make ethanol.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 8:27:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:

if we really want to use biomass for fuel, we should burn it in power plants and use it to generate electricity. not fermenting it and then wasting massive amounts of energy distilling it to the high purity required to run it in an automobile engine.


biomass fuel is a very well growing market. Especially in maine, biomass fuel is going for more then pulpwood at soem areas
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 8:31:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Orion_Shall_Rise:

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:

if we really want to use biomass for fuel, we should burn it in power plants and use it to generate electricity. not fermenting it and then wasting massive amounts of energy distilling it to the high purity required to run it in an automobile engine.


biomass fuel is a very well growing market. Especially in maine, biomass fuel is going for more then pulpwood at soem areas



The Berkley study that trashes every form of biofuel stated that switchgrass converted to pellets and burned had a nice positve energy outcome. However it was the conversion factor to ethanol that gave it a 50% engery loss. It seems like that would be a better way to go for now until we develope new technology.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 8:57:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/4/2006 8:58:46 PM EDT by SimonPhoto]

Originally posted by SWIRE:
Anyone that knows anything about farming would laugh at the claim it takes 140 gallons of fuel to grow and harvest 1 acre of corn. That number 10 times to high. In the standard middle income subdivision the standard lot is .3 acres. So put your house and the neighbors on each side of you together, then estimate how long it would take a tractor to go back and forth over that area 6 times. Tractors aren't the most fuel effiecent vehicles but there is no way it would take anywhere close to 140 gallons of fuel to cover such a small area.





Umm... not to sound like a smartass, but how did the fuel for that tractor get TO the tractor? How did the seed for the corn get there? How will that corn be transported to market? What about the fertilizer?

The cost of the gas for the tractor is likely a very small part of it. I've worked on a farm, and between the mobil fuel tank, 3 tractors, and 3 trucks, there was something like $2,000 in fuel on the farm at any given time. 140 gallons for each acre grown sounds pretty low to me.

I agree that the solution to our energy crisis isn't changing passenger cars, its changing the way we generate electricity. Nuclear power is a winner in most cases, although there are admittedly some hurdles. Waste storage/disposal IS an issue, but hardly the issue opponents make it out to be. I mean, seriously, researchers in Japan are getting ready to drill all the way to the Moho - the boundary between the crust of the earth and the mantle. If we HAD to, just put it as deep into the earth as we can. I know it sounds silly at first, but you tell me how its going to hurt anything to put radioactive material into magma 20-odd miles under the surface? Don't give me the "water table" crap, that's WAY too deep for there to be water. The magma down there won't see the surface for millions of years, if ever. There's also wind, geothermal, solar, and tidal power sources. Each has its problems, but each can be used to effect in certain areas. Solar is still far from being economically viable due to the amount of energy and materials that go into making a solar cell, but the first steam engine wasn't exactly viable for a single-person car either, was it? It will improve in time, that's what research and engineering are all about!

With cheap, plentiful electrical energy, from whatever source, I guarantee you will see a plethora of electric, zero-emmision vehicles on the road.

Plant-derived alcohols are not a valid fuel source at this point, at least not for the size of market the US consumer represents. I say build reactors, build geothermal plants, windmills, and tidal generators, then work on artificial fossil fuels. Yes, they polute, but there will always be a demand for such a portable, high-energy fuel. Your average family car, however, doesn't NEED to have that much power. Internal combustion vehicles will be a niche market in the future, catering to those who want fast, powerful cars, or too farmers and industrial contractors.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 9:39:37 PM EDT
yeah but doesnt agriculture account for more Oil use then cars?

all those chemicals and such?
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 10:35:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SimonPhoto:

Originally posted by SWIRE:
Anyone that knows anything about farming would laugh at the claim it takes 140 gallons of fuel to grow and harvest 1 acre of corn. That number 10 times to high. In the standard middle income subdivision the standard lot is .3 acres. So put your house and the neighbors on each side of you together, then estimate how long it would take a tractor to go back and forth over that area 6 times. Tractors aren't the most fuel effiecent vehicles but there is no way it would take anywhere close to 140 gallons of fuel to cover such a small area.





Umm... not to sound like a smartass, but how did the fuel for that tractor get TO the tractor? How did the seed for the corn get there? How will that corn be transported to market? What about the fertilizer?



exactly right - there are tons of costs along the way.

Add to the fact that ethanol blended gas is a crappy fuel that is less efficient and produces MORE pollution, ethanol should be put out to pasture.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 12:12:55 AM EDT
Stock options in the Soylent Green Fuel Company.....
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 1:33:09 AM EDT
Bah, just put a few Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators in every car, and use the electric power they make to run electric motors. Sha-zam, a car you won't have to refuel for 50 years.

I'm dead serious people, when we start running out of oil [in, oh, say, 5,000 years, when you consider Oil Shale], we'll just go to nuclear and micro-nuclear.


It's fairly cheap [when you consider how long it lasts vs. startup cost], lasts forever, and just to make the envirowacks happy it produces no pollution.

We should've done it 40 years ago, but everyone got so freaking paranoid about anything with the word Nu-Ku-Lar in it that it was skipped over. When the time comes, we'll go back to it.


And it's not like it isn't safe, a good RTG for use in a car like I said can be shielded with enough metal that it would put out fewer gamma rays than your color TV. It could also survive any possible car wreck [18 wheelers included] without the slightest chance of containment loss. Modern full scale nuclear reactors are safe too, we can now design them so there's no way they can have problems like Chernobyl. We learned from those mistakes and designed reactors that cannot reach anything near meltdown level reactions.


Sure, there could be a terrorist attack on a reactor, and that would be bad mojo... But how would it be worse than them blowing up a dam?


And no, a 'household' RTG could not be used to make a nuclear weapon, if you made the RTG using Americium-241 rather than Plutonium that would be simply impossible.


When we start getting hungry because Oil costs too much, we'll get over our nuclear-paranoia.

And the sooner the better, I look forward to cars I'll never have to refuel in my lifetime.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 1:50:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MurdockTheCrazy:
Bah, just put a few Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators in every car, and use the electric power they make to run electric motors. Sha-zam, a car you won't have to refuel for 50 years.

I'm dead serious people, when we start running out of oil [in, oh, say, 5,000 years, when you consider Oil Shale], we'll just go to nuclear and micro-nuclear.


It's fairly cheap [when you consider how long it lasts vs. startup cost], lasts forever, and just to make the envirowacks happy it produces no pollution.

We should've done it 40 years ago, but everyone got so freaking paranoid about anything with the word Nu-Ku-Lar in it that it was skipped over. When the time comes, we'll go back to it.


And it's not like it isn't safe, a good RTG for use in a car like I said can be shielded with enough metal that it would put out fewer gamma rays than your color TV. It could also survive any possible car wreck [18 wheelers included] without the slightest chance of containment loss. Modern full scale nuclear reactors are safe too, we can now design them so there's no way they can have problems like Chernobyl. We learned from those mistakes and designed reactors that cannot reach anything near meltdown level reactions.


Sure, there could be a terrorist attack on a reactor, and that would be bad mojo... But how would it be worse than them blowing up a dam?


And no, a 'household' RTG could not be used to make a nuclear weapon, if you made the RTG using Americium-241 rather than Plutonium that would be simply impossible.


When we start getting hungry because Oil costs too much, we'll get over our nuclear-paranoia.

And the sooner the better, I look forward to cars I'll never have to refuel in my lifetime.


But then Exxon wouldn't make $10 billion every 3 months. How much do you think they will spend to shoot this idea down?
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 11:02:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/5/2006 11:03:26 AM EDT by fossil_fuel]

Originally Posted By SWIRE:
Anyone that knows anything about farming would laugh at the claim it takes 140 gallons of fuel to grow and harvest 1 acre of corn. That number 10 times to high. In the standard middle income subdivision the standard lot is .3 acres. So put your house and the neighbors on each side of you together, then estimate how long it would take a tractor to go back and forth over that area 6 times. Tractors aren't the most fuel effiecent vehicles but there is no way it would take anywhere close to 140 gallons of fuel to cover such a small area.

There are many farming sites out there with estimations how long and how much fuel it takes for certain crops. The real life numbers are in sharp contradiction to the professors numbers.



you can't just count the fuel for the tractors used by the farmer. you need the fuel to make the fertilizer, the fuel to transport the fertilizer to the farm, the fuel required for irrigation, the fuel required to get the corn to the ethanol manufacturing factory, and, especially, the massive amounts of fuel required to do the multiple distillations necessary to get the ethanol to a high enough proof in order to be used as fuel in vehicles. this last step especially is what uses massive amounts of energy. the fermented mash must be boiled and condensed several times, and there are diminishing gains (each distillation increases the proof by less and less) until a high enough proof is reached.

if you go here you will find a rundown of the many studies done on the net energy gain of producing ethanol. some say there is a negative gain, others say there is a substansial gain, many more say there is a very small gain. pick you study and decide which to believe. personally I side with the studies that show a negative or very small energy gain, and think that it would be far more prudent to use biomass as a fuel for generating electricity rather than as vehicle fuel. much of the electricity in the US is generated by natural gas, and it appears that that fuel may be in shorter supply in the near future than oil and gasoline.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 11:12:14 AM EDT
The last analysis I read said that, even if it works out to be a net energy gain, about 98 percent of the land in the US would have to be converted to biomass production in order to meet current energy needs. It can help, but it isn't going to change the world. If we want big changes, we will have to look to other energy sources.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 11:18:26 AM EDT
once we get cold fusion figured out all this is a mute point.


Lebrew
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 11:21:58 AM EDT
If we were to use those sources we would not have enough land to grow food and we would destroy the forests because of the need to convert to agricultural land. There is plenty of oil, the problem with it, is a)our own government has implemented policies that prevent us from drillling in Alaska, off the coast of California and Florida. They have also banned drilling on the mid-Alantic shelf. b) the largest reserves are controlled by unstable, totalitarian socialist/communist/fascist governments that are anti freedom and anti-USA. If those governments were capitalistic and charrished freedom we wouldn't have this problem.

We aren't going to run out of oil.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 11:23:12 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 11:34:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Barrelburner:

Originally Posted By MurdockTheCrazy:
Bah, just put a few Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators in every car, and use the electric power they make to run electric motors. Sha-zam, a car you won't have to refuel for 50 years.

I'm dead serious people, when we start running out of oil [in, oh, say, 5,000 years, when you consider Oil Shale], we'll just go to nuclear and micro-nuclear.


It's fairly cheap [when you consider how long it lasts vs. startup cost], lasts forever, and just to make the envirowacks happy it produces no pollution.

We should've done it 40 years ago, but everyone got so freaking paranoid about anything with the word Nu-Ku-Lar in it that it was skipped over. When the time comes, we'll go back to it.


And it's not like it isn't safe, a good RTG for use in a car like I said can be shielded with enough metal that it would put out fewer gamma rays than your color TV. It could also survive any possible car wreck [18 wheelers included] without the slightest chance of containment loss. Modern full scale nuclear reactors are safe too, we can now design them so there's no way they can have problems like Chernobyl. We learned from those mistakes and designed reactors that cannot reach anything near meltdown level reactions.


Sure, there could be a terrorist attack on a reactor, and that would be bad mojo... But how would it be worse than them blowing up a dam?


And no, a 'household' RTG could not be used to make a nuclear weapon, if you made the RTG using Americium-241 rather than Plutonium that would be simply impossible.


When we start getting hungry because Oil costs too much, we'll get over our nuclear-paranoia.

And the sooner the better, I look forward to cars I'll never have to refuel in my lifetime.


But then Exxon wouldn't make $10 billion every 3 months. How much do you think they will spend to shoot this idea down?



What makes you think they wouldn't do the mining and processing of the fuel?

Link Posted: 2/5/2006 11:39:23 AM EDT
We would get better results from growing algae in warm waste-water pools, or by harvesting seaweed. About ten times better, IIRC. But those have their own problems, and still would require really large-scale efforts to make a significant difference.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 11:49:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:
You don't get ethanol from grasses and wood. You get METHANOL. It takes sugars and starches to make ethanol.



+1!

Don't go tryin to make hooch outta 2x4s. Your liver will implode and you'll go blind. Granted, there are minute trace ammounts of methanol in ethanol, but not enough to make you go blind. Just enough to make you go home with the ugly girl...
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 12:16:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/5/2006 12:17:01 PM EDT by Special-K]
I have been told that Hemp - not marijuana, but hemp - is far better than corn for ethanol production. It is easier to plant and harvest, requires much less chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides, causes less soil depletion than corn, and (most importantly) yields more ethanol per acre than corn.


Is any of this true? If so, why doen't we use this instead corn?


-K
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 12:18:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Special-K:
I have been told that Hemp - not marijuana, but hemp - is far better than corn for ethanol production. It is easier to plant and harvest, requires much less chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides, causes less soil depletion than corn, and (most importantly) yields more ethanol per acre than corn.


Is any of this true? If so, why doen't we use this instead corn?


-K



The hemp people (usually hippies who just want to smoke pot) will claim hemp can do anything in order to advance their cause. And they're throw in a few conspiracy theories as well.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 12:34:17 PM EDT
Brazil "grows" 90% of their motor fuel and has done so since the late 70s. Their alcohol fuel cost 1/2 of gasoline and makes 5% more hp than the gas. The government decided to make the change after the first oil embargo. But in the US, $40 billion profit a year per company will keep us chained to the oil.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 12:36:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BadShotBob:
Brazil "grows" 90% of their motor fuel and has done so since the late 70s. Their alcohol fuel cost 1/2 of gasoline and makes 5% more hp than the gas. The government decided to make the change after the first oil embargo. But in the US, $40 billion profit a year per company will keep us chained to the oil.



In Brazil, poster child for ethanol fuel, FFVs are routine and the nationwide standard is E25, 25% ethanol. Fuels range up to E100, which is all ethanol. Ethanol there is made from sugar cane, which requires less work and fertilizer to grow than corn.

"In Brazil, there's a much cheaper cost of labor, much looser environmental regulations, a whole litany of things" that make it easier and cheaper to produce and sell ethanol fuel, says Greene, the policy analyst. Because Brazil is warm, motorists there "don't have the cold-start problems we do with pure ethanol," he notes. The higher the alcohol concentration, the harder it can be to ignite the fuel in cold weather.


http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2006-02-01-ethanol_x.htm?POE=TECISVA

Brazil is not buffalo new york in february.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 12:46:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bastiat:

Originally Posted By Special-K:
I have been told that Hemp - not marijuana, but hemp - is far better than corn for ethanol production. It is easier to plant and harvest, requires much less chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides, causes less soil depletion than corn, and (most importantly) yields more ethanol per acre than corn.


Is any of this true? If so, why doen't we use this instead corn?


-K



The hemp people (usually hippies who just want to smoke pot) will claim hemp can do anything in order to advance their cause. And they're throw in a few conspiracy theories as well.



it's true that hemp is much easier to grow (it is, after all, a weed) and would be a good option as a biofuel for burning to generate electricity. I don't see it ever catching on in the US though (how will the DEA be able to tell if the seemingly legitimate hemp farmer isn't growing a few THC-producing cannabis plants mixed in with all the hemp?)
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 12:52:25 PM EDT
Can't they get electricity from switchgrass?
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 1:20:46 PM EDT
Corn processed for ethanol still has value as high protien animal feed. Oilseed crops to make into BioDiesel need to be added to the mix as well. The resultant oilcake can be used as animal feed as well. In fact both products can be made from the same batch of grain. The waste still has feed value as a high protien additive to animal feed.

Brazil uses E100 in the main tank and E0 (Pure petro gasoline) in a 4 litre start tank. This tank is what starts the car when coolant is less that needed to start a gasoline engine on E100. When the engine warms to a point that E100 will work (~60 seconds) it switches to the E100 in the main tank. A company has started an ethanol fuel plant here in ohio and the WASTE is worth as much as the corn that was input to the process.

We need Sasol to build Natural Gas liquifaction plants in places like Papua New Guinea, Angola and Bolivia that have an abundance of natural gas and little or no demand. Sasol could build a coal liquifaction plant here in the USA as well. We need to build many new nueclear power plants here in the US. We need to use up the A-Rab Oil before we poke any new holes in our AO. Let them run out and return to the tents in the desert.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 4:05:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:

it's true that hemp is much easier to grow (it is, after all, a weed) and would be a good option as a biofuel for burning to generate electricity. I don't see it ever catching on in the US though (how will the DEA be able to tell if the seemingly legitimate hemp farmer isn't growing a few THC-producing cannabis plants mixed in with all the hemp?)



When the plant is grown for the two different purposes, there are different varieties that have different looks. Besides, someone who was growing the drug variety would not want to grow it with hemp for fear of the seeds being fertilized and the plant losing potency.

Link Posted: 2/5/2006 4:57:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Special-K:
I have been told that Hemp - not marijuana, but hemp - is far better than corn for ethanol production. It is easier to plant and harvest, requires much less chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides, causes less soil depletion than corn, and (most importantly) yields more ethanol per acre than corn.


Is any of this true? If so, why doen't we use this instead corn?


-K



Hemp produces about as much biomass as any living plant except for the algaes. However, it is not easier to harvest. It is a pretty tough plant, and pretty big, and there isn't much harvesting machinery for it currently available. In terms of producing biomass, regular grass and algae would probably be easier to harvest. It is, however, useful for a lot of other things -- perhaps more than any other family of plants.

The reason we don't grow it commercially comes down to reefer madness. Our policy toward it makes no real sense at all.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 8:11:30 PM EDT
As far as I can see the following things seem to be true......

Using alcohol for a motor fuel is problematic at best, and probably not cost effective at this time.
It's not as energetic as Gasoline, so you need more of it to get the same work done(IE: less MPG).

Nuclear for electricity is the way to go for the future. Just about anything else won't get us what we need as cheaply or as effectively.

Bio-diesel is something that works NOW, with what we have NOW, and with little/no conversion for use NOW! We already grow the crops that make oil, and we already have great diesel technology to use it in.

The other front I've been waiting to hear more about is in the "Making oil from coal" process that (I think) the University of Wyoming was working on. The process was developed during WWII and basically put aside because oil at the time was so cheap. With oil at $60+ a barrel, the thought of $40 a barrel oil from coal sounds great!

Tall Shadow
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 8:23:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wolfman97:

Originally Posted By Special-K:
I have been told that Hemp - not marijuana, but hemp - is far better than corn for ethanol production. It is easier to plant and harvest, requires much less chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides, causes less soil depletion than corn, and (most importantly) yields more ethanol per acre than corn.


Is any of this true? If so, why doen't we use this instead corn?


-K



Hemp produces about as much biomass as any living plant except for the algaes. However, it is not easier to harvest. It is a pretty tough plant, and pretty big, and there isn't much harvesting machinery for it currently available. In terms of producing biomass, regular grass and algae would probably be easier to harvest. It is, however, useful for a lot of other things -- perhaps more than any other family of plants.

The reason we don't grow it commercially comes down to reefer madness. Our policy toward it makes no real sense at all.



I was wondering when you would see the Hempsignal and come running.

"Quick! To the hempcave!"

doobie doobie doobie doobie
doobie doobie doobie doobie
Hempman!
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 8:32:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wolfman97:
When the plant is grown for the two different purposes, there are different varieties that have different looks.



how does it look different? do the non-THC producing varieties have less buds?
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 8:37:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AeroE:
The Energy Department published a paper that states that ethanol production yields more product than consumed - 30%, I think is what they claim.

Subsidies of ethanol cost through farm subsidy and tax reduction at the pump are a different issue than production efficiency.



We should just buy it from Brazil. E85 can become popular. Just not made here. It really isnt economically feasable.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 9:00:49 PM EDT
I can just 'hear' the low IQ left babbling something like this.....

"How can you justify converting 'food' into fuel so some sob can drive an 'suv'?"


1 Force vehicle owners to use ethanol instead of gasoline.

2 Prevent access to ethanol because sub saharan africans are 'starving'.

3 Viola, you have forced the population out of their cars and single family dwellings and into the courts and mass transportation! new york city leftists get what they want. No difference to them, they still have the subway. No subway in rural Texas? Too bad. Tough luck for the target group called 'rednecks'.

Bush knows very well that alternate fuels are nonsense, currently. He just said it to score some points with the mindless fools in the media. Some ear-candy for the ignorant left.



Torture the left.....force them to get 'real' jobs.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 4:27:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:

Originally Posted By wolfman97:
When the plant is grown for the two different purposes, there are different varieties that have different looks.



how does it look different? do the non-THC producing varieties have less buds?



Because the hemp plant is often grown for fiber, they plant it thickly. Therefore, the plants grow as long, slender stems. There aren't many buds on them. The stuff that is grown for the intoxicating effect is grown for the buds, not the stems. Therefore, they give each plant a lot more room and the plants tend to be shaped more like Christmas trees with very clearly visible buds.

If some government official tells you he can't tell the difference, then you can be sure that he is talking out of ignorance.

Just FYI, there are still huge stands of hemp throughout the US from when it was commercially grown -- sometimes forty acres or more at a stretch -- and it is estimated that about 90 percent of the growing "marijuana" they seize is really nothing more than worthless ditchweed.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 4:28:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By photokirk:

Originally Posted By wolfman97:

Originally Posted By Special-K:
I have been told that Hemp - not marijuana, but hemp - is far better than corn for ethanol production. It is easier to plant and harvest, requires much less chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides, causes less soil depletion than corn, and (most importantly) yields more ethanol per acre than corn.


Is any of this true? If so, why doen't we use this instead corn?


-K



Hemp produces about as much biomass as any living plant except for the algaes. However, it is not easier to harvest. It is a pretty tough plant, and pretty big, and there isn't much harvesting machinery for it currently available. In terms of producing biomass, regular grass and algae would probably be easier to harvest. It is, however, useful for a lot of other things -- perhaps more than any other family of plants.

The reason we don't grow it commercially comes down to reefer madness. Our policy toward it makes no real sense at all.



I was wondering when you would see the Hempsignal and come running.

"Quick! To the hempcave!"

doobie doobie doobie doobie
doobie doobie doobie doobie
Hempman!



Don't do anything stupid like bothering to read what I said about it.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 4:29:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MikeSSS:
I can just 'hear' the low IQ left babbling something like this.....

"How can you justify converting 'food' into fuel so some sob can drive an 'suv'?"


1 Force vehicle owners to use ethanol instead of gasoline.

2 Prevent access to ethanol because sub saharan africans are 'starving'.

3 Viola, you have forced the population out of their cars and single family dwellings and into the courts and mass transportation! new york city leftists get what they want. No difference to them, they still have the subway. No subway in rural Texas? Too bad. Tough luck for the target group called 'rednecks'.

Bush knows very well that alternate fuels are nonsense, currently. He just said it to score some points with the mindless fools in the media. Some ear-candy for the ignorant left.



Torture the left.....force them to get 'real' jobs.



If these are not food crops being converted, why would anyone say that?
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 4:33:19 AM EDT
There are two primary methods of producing ethanol, wet mill and dry mill. Each process is very different, but the real energy consumption comes from separating the corn kernels. I've been reading up on the latest research which involves ultrasound as a potential method to break the kernels apart prior to sorting.

There currently is a slightly higher energy input than output, but there are also byproducts which are very useful as a commodity that offsets the net energy loss from the producer side. This is probably what your farmers are referring to. There's a slag that can be used as raw food for herd animals. Additionally, there's all sorts of plastics and other materials which can be produced.

I know all this because I belong to a co-op attempting to build a $100 million ethanol processing plant here in my very rural county.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 4:42:09 AM EDT
Bottomline - there's no quick fix here
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 5:55:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wolfman97:

Originally Posted By photokirk:

Originally Posted By wolfman97:

Originally Posted By Special-K:
I have been told that Hemp - not marijuana, but hemp - is far better than corn for ethanol production. It is easier to plant and harvest, requires much less chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides, causes less soil depletion than corn, and (most importantly) yields more ethanol per acre than corn.


Is any of this true? If so, why doen't we use this instead corn?


-K



Hemp produces about as much biomass as any living plant except for the algaes. However, it is not easier to harvest. It is a pretty tough plant, and pretty big, and there isn't much harvesting machinery for it currently available. In terms of producing biomass, regular grass and algae would probably be easier to harvest. It is, however, useful for a lot of other things -- perhaps more than any other family of plants.

The reason we don't grow it commercially comes down to reefer madness. Our policy toward it makes no real sense at all.



I was wondering when you would see the Hempsignal and come running.

"Quick! To the hempcave!"

doobie doobie doobie doobie
doobie doobie doobie doobie
Hempman!



Don't do anything stupid like bothering to read what I said about it.



Jeez, it's like you have a bot that searches for "hemp". You always show up in these threads like somebody blew a fucking dog whistle. I thought you potheads were mellow.

I'm going to repeat myself just to annoy you:

I was wondering when you would see the Hempsignal and come running.

"Quick! To the hempcave!"

doobie doobie doobie doobie
doobie doobie doobie doobie
Hempman!


I eagerly await your hemp-fueled response, typed on your computer made entirely of hemp, sitting on a hemp desk, under a hemp-powered light.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 6:15:08 AM EDT
wont matter after 2012.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 7:24:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tall_Shadow:
As far as I can see the following things seem to be true......

Using alcohol for a motor fuel is problematic at best, and probably not cost effective at this time.
It's not as energetic as Gasoline, so you need more of it to get the same work done(IE: less MPG).

Nuclear for electricity is the way to go for the future. Just about anything else won't get us what we need as cheaply or as effectively.

Bio-diesel is something that works NOW, with what we have NOW, and with little/no conversion for use NOW! We already grow the crops that make oil, and we already have great diesel technology to use it in.

The other front I've been waiting to hear more about is in the "Making oil from coal" process that (I think) the University of Wyoming was working on. The process was developed during WWII and basically put aside because oil at the time was so cheap. With oil at $60+ a barrel, the thought of $40 a barrel oil from coal sounds great!

Tall Shadow



That's pretty much my opinion as well.

I've been burning biodiesel (some B20, mostly B50) since September, probably about 10,000 miles, and loving it so far. I was just reading about some new "pressure sensing glow plug" which they are claiming might bring diesels into compliance with upcoming emissions regulations. If that happens, hopefully we'll see an influx of diesel options and enough demand to make large-scale production a hot item.
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