1. Seattle
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    11 Sep '08 06:33
    This may or may not have been discussed, and if it has please give me a link so I can see what you guys think, but I was wondering what you guys thought about the viability of Ethanol as a major fuel source for automotives and othe eingines.
    Personally, based upon what I have heard and read, it seems too hard on engines. Furthermore it appears to me that corn is now being bought in futures, driving up the cost of cattle and other goods. There are other enviromental concerns I have heard, but the basic question I have is this:

    Will it work? Or when everything is stripped away, is this just all politics?
  2. Subscribersonhouse
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    11 Sep '08 07:226 edits
    Originally posted by c guy1
    This may or may not have been discussed, and if it has please give me a link so I can see what you guys think, but I was wondering what you guys thought about the viability of Ethanol as a major fuel source for automotives and othe eingines.
    Personally, based upon what I have heard and read, it seems too hard on engines. Furthermore it appears to me that ...[text shortened]... have is this:

    Will it work? Or when everything is stripped away, is this just all politics?
    Hi, see you found the placeπŸ™‚
    Of course it CAN work but not in its present form, growing corn has already almost doubled the price of food crops so they have to come up with ways of using non-food stocks for the production of alcohol, which is being done BTW. I will try to scrounge up a link.
    Here is one link about non-food ethanol:
    http://www.alternativeenergy.com/profiles/blog/show?id=1066929%3ABlogPost%3A26030
    I see the math here, 50,000 acres making 100,000,000 gallons per year which is 2000 gallons per acre per year. The algae process is some 7 times less land intensive, making 15,000 gallons of biodiesel per year so it could make that 100 million gallons in one year on 7000 acres.
    Here is a link talking about Algae biodiesel, the math there says it is only twice as efficient as the ethanol figure, but still 4000 gallons of biodiesel per year per acre so that one could do that 100,000,000 gallons on 25000 acres, half the ethanol project.
    http://gas2.org/2008/03/29/first-algae-biodiesel-plant-goes-online-april-1-2008/
    Here is a new technology, a hybrid desiel-electric made by Dodge that already gets about 70 MPG in mixed driving conditions:
    http://www.autointell.net/nao_companies/daimlerchrysler/dodge/dodge-esx3-01.htm
    Here is a list of companies pursuing the algae field:
    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Biodiesel_from_Algae_Oil
    Here is a PDF file comparing the outputs of various forms of energy in terms of # of miles driveable per acre, solar wins hands down:
    http://www.fivestarconsultants.com/Clients%20&%20Projects_files/yield%20in%20miles%20driven-1.pdf
  3. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    13 Sep '08 00:471 edit
    It should be done with a better crop with more sugar and less other stuff. We need pure ethanol, not maize-beer or whatever it's called.

    I am in favor of ethanol fuel research. I think it's a really good idea.
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    13 Sep '08 10:11
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    It should be done with a better crop with more sugar and less other stuff. We need pure ethanol, not maize-beer or whatever it's called.

    I am in favor of ethanol fuel research. I think it's a really good idea.
    The real breakthrough came when we figured out relatively easy bacterial methods of converting the whole plant to ethanol, there is a new higher temperature version of the bacterial effect, it runs at about 50 or 60 degrees C, a lot warmer than the original and a lot more efficient and can convert corn stalks, grass, trees, whatever, into ethanol. The next step is proving it can be scaled up to industrial levels, that is to say, producing billions of gallons of the stuff. That said, I still thing the best fuel is hydrogen but of course that takes a separate infrastructure but it is potentially a lot easier on the environment. There is even work going on to efficiently convert ethanol and methane into H2 and to sequester the resultant CO2. That is another workable solution. H2 + O2 just goes back to water so it's the ultimate renewable. You of course have to supply the reaction with energy to get back more H2 which would come from solar, fusion, hydrothermal, wave power, wind, what ever combo we can work up in the next 100 years. If we don't we will be back to horse and buggy and chipping away at the new ice age.
  5. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    13 Sep '08 15:26
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The real breakthrough came when we figured out relatively easy bacterial methods of converting the whole plant to ethanol, there is a new higher temperature version of the bacterial effect, it runs at about 50 or 60 degrees C, a lot warmer than the original and a lot more efficient and can convert corn stalks, grass, trees, whatever, into ethanol. The next ...[text shortened]... 00 years. If we don't we will be back to horse and buggy and chipping away at the new ice age.
    Hydrogen's a gas, and therefore you can pack less of it into a certain area I would imagine. But maybe the reaction has a better energy/mass ratio. I don't know.
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    13 Sep '08 16:24
    I think the major problem here is the cost-efectiveness of the process. Right now, for any industry, it would cost the same (if not more) to use other sources other than petroleum for energy. It's not that they'll have losses, but that their profit would be less. In a capitalist world that is very bad and they would rather not encourage this kind of change.

    Research is being done to make other sources of energy cheaper, and the infrastructure needed to use them would also need to be cheaper too.
  7. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    13 Sep '08 16:261 edit
    Originally posted by dannyUchiha
    I think the major problem here is the cost-efectiveness of the process. Right now, for any industry, it would cost the same (if not more) to use other sources other than petroleum for energy. It's not that they'll have losses, but that their profit would be less. In a capitalist world that is very bad and they would rather not encourage this kind of chan ...[text shortened]... f energy cheaper, and the infrastructure needed to use them would also need to be cheaper too.
    Then there are a lot of stupid investors in the world. That's no surprise. The stupid-people fill this world up like schools of guppies fill certain parts of the ocean.

    I smell opportunity. I need to acquire more capital. I have some now, but more is better πŸ™‚
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    13 Sep '08 17:05
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Hydrogen's a gas, and therefore you can pack less of it into a certain area I would imagine. But maybe the reaction has a better energy/mass ratio. I don't know.
    There is work going on with that, things like metal hydrides that adsorb H2 with a density almost as great as liquid H2 and comes off at relatively low temperatures. Also nanotechnology is being pursued in this effort.
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    13 Sep '08 20:04
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Then there are a lot of stupid investors in the world. That's no surprise. The stupid-people fill this world up like schools of guppies fill certain parts of the ocean.

    I smell opportunity. I need to acquire more capital. I have some now, but more is better πŸ™‚
    Unfortunately, you're right. There are few decision makers in this world who actually has the brains to occupy the position they're in.
  10. Subscribersonhouse
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    13 Sep '08 22:09
    Originally posted by dannyUchiha
    Unfortunately, you're right. There are few decision makers in this world who actually has the brains to occupy the position they're in.
    This is the link to the cellulosic conversion of waste products like stems of corn plants, grass, tree clippings, leaves, etc., into ethanol using genetically engineered bacteria that thrive at higher temperatures:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908185132.htm
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    13 Sep '08 22:36
    I know there are a lot of research going on about alternate energy sources. My girlfriend is doing one related to biomass.

    What I meant in my previous comment was that even though there options available today, just because they cost a little more or have one or another minor disadvantage, both industry and government discard it.

    Whether we like it or not, science is not the one to decide the world's future energy source, it will be both industry and government.
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    14 Sep '08 05:45
    I too believe in hydrogene.

    Use any energy to produce H2 from water, letting out the surplus O2 in atmosphere. Then burn the H2 using O2 from the atmosphere and all what you got is water in the process. No CO2 involved.

    So when you produce H2, using hydroelectrics, nuclear energy (even fusion if available), geoenergy, in short whatever. H2 is only used as an energy storage. This is the ultimate future.

    Copied from http://www.newenergy.is/en/icelandic_new_energy/ ...
    "Icelandic New Energy is the promoter for using hydrogen as a fuel in the transportation sector in Iceland, thereby making it possible to head for an economy which is only run on renewable, local energy sources. The company’s goal is to test an extensive fuel system in context with the local energy production and electric- and waterdistribution systems. Icelandic New Energy's vision is to prepare for a hydrogen conversion and find out if the benefits in economic, environmental and social terms are more than the economic, environmental and social cost.

    INE sees this transition take place within the year 2050 as long as technical, economic and social devopment becomes aligned towards this goal. INE works as an international project manager in demonstrations and research involving hydrogen applications for transportation and backup-power. "
  13. Subscribersonhouse
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    14 Sep '08 07:541 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    I too believe in hydrogene.

    Use any energy to produce H2 from water, letting out the surplus O2 in atmosphere. Then burn the H2 using O2 from the atmosphere and all what you got is water in the process. No CO2 involved.

    So when you produce H2, using hydroelectrics, nuclear energy (even fusion if available), geoenergy, in short whatever. H2 is only u strations and research involving hydrogen applications for transportation and backup-power. "
    It certainly has advantages for the climate but what if you decide to use coal fired plants as the energy source as may happen in the US or China?
    Both countries are sitting on huge coal deposits and already use it extensively. What is to stop them from saying, H2 is the way to go and we just happen to have a great energy source to use for it.
    That is one problem. Another is infrastructure. There are no hydrogen gas stations of any size anywhere in the world so assuming you get it together to manufacture billions of gallons of H2, you have to have an outlet for the stuff which has to be built from scratch, which is not saying it can't be done but someone has to take that step and get it done, literally a multi-billion dollar project in itself. Now if we get the energy from solar or geothermal or wind or waves or fusion that is another story but I am afraid countries like the US and China will take the easy road and end up worsening the climate instead of improving it. China is especially bad in this regard. At least in the US we are working to clean up the coal industry but in China there is more work done to expand coal as it is rather than pay for the research that could make it more environmentally friendly.
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    14 Sep '08 08:07
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    It certainly has advantages for the climate but what if you decide to use coal fired plants as the energy source as may happen in the US or China?
    Both countries are sitting on huge coal deposits and already use it extensively. What is to stop them from saying, H2 is the way to go and we just happen to have a great energy source to use for it.
    That is on ...[text shortened]... oal as it is rather than pay for the research that could make it more environmentally friendly.
    First:
    Yes, we have to change all the gas stations to convert to H2 stations. But this will not to be needed ove the night. I think in the best scenario possible, that it takes one generation of cars to change the system, meaning 10 to 15 years of time. And even after this, it will be possible to buy petrol to old cars. Iceland is about to start their transform of car fuel. We should follow their path.

    Secondly:
    If some countries are using fossil sources to produce H2, then we blame them for destroying the atmosphere for their emission of CO2. This is a political issue, and not a scientific one.

    After we have converted to H", then any poor country in the sunnny part of the world, can roll out carpets of solar panels, converting water to H2 and distribute from there to the rest of the world. Countries with geothermal energy (like Iceland) can produce H2 cheaply. Countries with rivers can use hydroelectric energy enough to produce H2. Etc etc...

    But, of course, this will not be an easy transformation to a society with H2 instead of fossils. I'm not naïve. This is a question about wanting protect the atmosphere. This is a question who runs the country, the oil and coal industry for money, or the people wanting to have a safe future for the forthcomings.
  15. Subscribersonhouse
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    14 Sep '08 09:19
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    First:
    Yes, we have to change all the gas stations to convert to H2 stations. But this will not to be needed ove the night. I think in the best scenario possible, that it takes one generation of cars to change the system, meaning 10 to 15 years of time. And even after this, it will be possible to buy petrol to old cars. Iceland is about to start their t ...[text shortened]... and coal industry for money, or the people wanting to have a safe future for the forthcomings.
    It looks to me like a step-wise thing, first more efficient production of ethanol as a stop-gap measure to reduce our dependence on foreign oil then getting fusion going then using fusion, solar, etc., to make H2. The infrastructure is already in place for ethanol. Did you see my post about the bio-engineered bacteria that thrives at higher temps and converts plant waste to ethanol? That is here and now, the next step is to prove it can be scaled up to industrial capacities. Once that is done maybe we can kick the oil habit. Only then will we (the world) have enough bucks to go big time into fusion, solar, wind or whatever with the goal of going to H2.
    Right now the US is sending in over a half trillion dollars a year to Saudi and others, which means that much less that can go into research. Reduce that and more money will flow to research.
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