Why ethanol is not the answer to the fuel crisis - Toyota Prius Forum : Prius Online Toyota Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 04-28-2006, 12:52 PM
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Default Why ethanol is not the answer to the fuel crisis

http://healthandenergy.com/ethanol.htm

Very good read I highly recomend it

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#2 (permalink) Old 04-28-2006, 04:37 PM
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Talk of the Nation, Science Friday (NPR) had a segment today with a guy who has developed a methanol fuel cell. It took him too long to get to the point, so I never did figure out why he thought methanol was the answer. But his design not only used, but also generated methanol, and also consumed CO2. Huh... imagine that.

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#3 (permalink) Old 04-28-2006, 04:39 PM
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I have read other reports that include recycling the byproducts of the ethanol production, which offset some of the energy and financial costs this author portrays. Many reports show the energy input to potential energy result to be closer to 1:1, some reports showing slightly for the better, some slightly for the worse.

Looking further through various other links in this website, I tend to question how thorough he was in his research (he has a link on controlling indoor air pressure, but really it is a link in DETECTING, not controlling, indoor air pressure). He also fails to consider other sources of starch to generate the ethanol that may be better used or produced to produce ethanol. Paper waste is such an example.

But it is generally agreed that even with today's high petroleum prices, it is currently the cheapest and most convenient source of energy to date. Soon though as supply gets more scarce, being cheapest and most convenient won't be the case, so finding other alternatives, even if idividually are a partial solution, probably will collectively be the whole solution.
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 10:07 PM
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I got to wondering - if the food industry took even some of all that added high fructose corn syrup that's in most every processed food today:
1. how much collective weight could be lost by us pudgy Americans?
2. how much more Ethanol could be produced for fuel use?
just idle ponderings...

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#5 (permalink) Old 05-05-2006, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mrv
I got to wondering - if the food industry took even some of all that added high fructose corn syrup that's in most every processed food today:
1. how much collective weight could be lost by us pudgy Americans?
2. how much more Ethanol could be produced for fuel use?
just idle ponderings...
I know there is a liposuction joke here somewhere...

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#6 (permalink) Old 05-16-2006, 06:48 AM
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I actually look for stuff like this while flying in an airplane, ya never know...
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#7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2006, 10:07 AM
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Corn isn't a very good supply for ethanol. It grows too slowly and is pretty high maintenance. IIRC, it's a 1:1.4 ratio on the bulk energy loss.

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#8 (permalink) Old 06-25-2006, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hep
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrv
I got to wondering - if the food industry took even some of all that added high fructose corn syrup that's in most every processed food today:
1. how much collective weight could be lost by us pudgy Americans?
2. how much more Ethanol could be produced for fuel use?
just idle ponderings...
I know there is a liposuction joke here somewhere...
Hmmmm,

fat=blubber=oil

render blubber to oil (convert those whaler stations...)

Sounds like Hep may be in to a sideline

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#9 (permalink) Old 07-19-2006, 03:04 PM
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Ethanol is not the answer. Paraphrased from Investor's Business Daily article dated today, July 19th:

Even if every available acre of corn were used for the poduction of ethanol, it would replace only 12.3% of the gasoline used in the United States.

And that's not even taking into consideration the lower fuel-value of ethanol (1.5 gallons needed to do the same work as 1 gallon of gasoline), or the energy required for this production.

According to the article, 73 million acres of corn cropland would only supply 3.7% of the US's auto and truck transort needs.

And that's without crop rotation. If you treat the land right and regularly rotate crops and let some land lie fallow, then the 73 million acres of cropland is reduced further.

Ethanol refinement/production is also pollutive. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and pesticide runoffs are produced in the making of corn-based Ethanol. And so are more smog-creating pollutants.

And my own observation: Ethanol production still needs government subsidies to remain sustainable. As an investor, I have learned that if something needs continual "propping up", then there's a major problem with the business model, the market demand, or the product itself.
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#10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2006, 03:17 PM
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I keep hearing about the use of corn to produce ethanol. Is corn the most efficient way to make ethanol? Because if there is a better raw product to make ethanol with that doesn't require as much care as corn does, we should be focusing on that.

For example, it may be feasable to make major quantities of fuel oil using agae.
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