Biofuel: Explore The Possibilities

Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by CorpusBlack, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. CorpusBlack Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    With pollution, gas prices and so many other negative factors surrounding us, why are we not pushing the powers that be into implementing biofuel options more rapidly? Everyone gripes about gas prices, the environment, etc. etc. yet biofuel isn't much of an issue it seems. I'm just curious to see how many of you have really pondered the possibilities of a biofueled world. What steps do you think need to be taken to get the ball really rolling? How long will this whole metamorphosis take in the long run? Are we really headed towards change or is it just wishful thinking? When will we take our freedom back and eliminate this petroleum monopoly?
     
  2. SuBe Voluntaryist

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    11,912
    Likes Received:
    2
    While I support Alternative Fuels, I believe that Ethenol would be ineffective as it takes 1.29 gallons of Gasoline to produce 1 gallon of Ethanol. It wouldn't make sence.
     
  3. Carcharodon Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,859
    Likes Received:
    0
    Even if that isn't true, ethanol has other major environmental drawbacks as well. Turns out that farming corn is terrible for the environment and sustainability.
     
  4. CorpusBlack Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    If this is true, I'm sure it is a problem which can be solved with the implementation of alternative fuel and energy sources.

    According to whom?

    The use of 10% ethanol blends reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 18-29% compared with conventional gasoline. *source: Argonne National Laboratory
     
  5. Carcharodon Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,859
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do you have any idea what farming corn does to the land? Or how much new crop space will have to be devoted to corn production? It's a terrible crop for the environment, and the increase in corn crops required to sustain a feasible supply of ethanol is going to cause plenty of problems down the line, both environmental and socio-economic.

    You can throw out quotes about the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions all you'd like; nobody's really arguing that, so the quote you posted is more or less moot. My point is: it's most certainly not a permanent solution.
     
  6. Carcharodon Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,859
    Likes Received:
    0
    ...wtf? We'll implement an alternative fuel/energy source so that we can fuel the production of a less efficient energy source?

    Do you realize what the hell you just said? :huh: Why not just go with that OTHER alternative fuel/energy source altogether?
     
  7. CorpusBlack Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    My quote was a random fact I found and not a direct response to your statement.

    I'm also not disputing your statement, I'm only inquiring about your source, as I'd like to read more about it myself. I searched for the environmental effects of corn farming and didn't receive any results stating that it was a threat to the environment. Also, according to the special they had on Discovery several months ago, which I'm not necessarily taking as wholehearted truth, it was stated that there is already enough corn fields in the U.S. to supply more than enough ethanol as well as food crops.
     
  8. wiegeabo Omniposcient

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37,116
    Likes Received:
    7
    I don't see why we need to use corn (except for the massive corn lobby in Washington pushing for it's use to raise corn prices).

    Corn gives you anywhere from .8 to 1.5 units of energy for every 1 unit of energy used to produce it (depending on the type of production).

    Sugarcane, on the other hand, give 8 units of energy for each unit used to make ethanol. That's why Brazil (or Venezuela, can't remember) is completely off foreign oil. They use sugarcane biofuel and no longer need to import oil.

    And a friend pointed out yesterday the switchgrass (a type of wild growing grass) gives 10 units of energy!
     
  9. CorpusBlack Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    If it takes more gas to produce ethanol, then we need to come up with a way to make another energy source produce ethanol. Or find a way to use ethanol itself.
     
  10. Carcharodon Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,859
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anyways, regarding your OP: biofuels are going to require a couple of things in order for them to become feasible. IF they get implemented on a much larger scale, they'll need to sort out the issue of sustainability, and it would be a great idea to vary the sources.

    Everybody is talking about corn, and that's really not a path we want to go down...at least, not singularly. There are other crops that can produce ethanol, but THEN we get to the issue of efficiency (that is, ethanol yield).

    You mentioned before about using alternative fuel sources to fuel the production of ethanol...which is bat**** insane. HOWEVER, if we instead look for alternative methods of ethanol production from specific crops, well, we'd have a much better shot.

    Is that what you meant originally?
     
  11. Carcharodon Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,859
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah; I still think that finding alternative methods of production rather than necessarily alternative fuels is a better approach, but that's just me. We'll never break even anyways (thanks a lot, Second Law of Thermodynamics). :cmad:
     
  12. CorpusBlack Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the U.S. is pro corn due to the fact that it produces much more of it than sugarcane. It's a fuel source they can control without being forced to import the majority of sugarcane from Brazil or somewhere else.
     
  13. Carcharodon Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,859
    Likes Received:
    0
    :up: :up: :up:
     
  14. Carcharodon Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,859
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hell...I've gotta go to class, but I'll be back in about 3 hours. I'll find something.
     
  15. Carcharodon Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,859
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gotta love Hawai'i.
     
  16. GoldenAgeHero Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    12,340
    Likes Received:
    0
    how about poop, i think japan uses a method to combust human waste into fuel.
     
  17. wiegeabo Omniposcient

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37,116
    Likes Received:
    7

    I agree that its because we grow so much corn. It seems to be in almost every product. And the push to use corn as fuel is already forcing the price of corn (and corn products) to rise. I'm scared to see what will happen to the price if it went to full fuel production/distribution.


    I don't know that we'd need to import anything. Hawaii grows sugarcane, so we could just bring some over to the mainland and grow it in large farms (assuming suitable farmland exists).
     
  18. wiegeabo Omniposcient

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37,116
    Likes Received:
    7
    Ha. That was on an episode of Top Gear a couple of years back. They tried cars that ran on methane from cow and human waste and raced them against another car (using biofuel, I think). Can't remember who won (pretty sure it was the third car).
     
  19. CorpusBlack Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gotta love Iowa :cwink:
     
  20. Carcharodon Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,859
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/ap...=/20070603/BUSINESS01/706030328/1029/BUSINESS

    That's one big one: soil erosion. Even though you can use crop-rotation to restore the levels of Nitrogen in the soil (a nutrient that corn absolutely demolishes), it won't do any good if all the topsoil is gone.

    Therefore, you'll have not only seasonality issues (unless a smart system is worked out for the crop-rotation, which will inevitably result in a somewhat diminished supply), but later on you'll have an even larger sustainability issue.

    Great, now I'm late. Thanks, jerk. :cmad: :-)up:)
     
  21. Carcharodon Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,859
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, Iowa sucks.
     
  22. CorpusBlack Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know if Hawaii can come anywhere near producing enough sugarcane to fuel our SUVs and sweeten our Cokes. If so, then I'm all for it. :up:

    I know they've experimented with manure as a fuel source to some degree. I'd have to look more into it.
     
  23. CorpusBlack Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the link. Get to class. :woot:

    :up:
     
  24. GoldenAgeHero Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    12,340
    Likes Received:
    0

    I hope so. farmland will have to exists in the mid west tho.
     
  25. WhatsHisFace Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    39,016
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ethanol was a failed step into biofuel and other, better alternatives are already being practiced.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"